(Adam Andrzejewski, RealClear Wire) In a rare moment of bipartisanship in Washington, Congressional leaders from both parties strongly criticized the former Architect of the Capitol, Brett Blanton, for scandals that came to light in a recent Inspector General’s report. He earned an annual salary of $187,000 for years.
The Architect of the Capitol is tasked with maintaining the U.S. Capitol building and its adjacent House and Senate office buildings, including managing restoration efforts, helping with routine maintenance and repairs and maintaining the grounds outside of the Capitol.
Blanton was appointed Architect of the Capitol in 2020, but his service was mired in scandals and abuses of public trust. The IG found that Blanton used three government, law enforcement-grade vehicles for personal uses and errands, falsely claimed he was an off duty police officer, and stood by while his wife advertised private tours of the Capitol when it was closed to the public due to the pandemic.
While his pay was never made public, a memo from the Government Accountability Office detailed that the highest salary level anyone in the office of Architect of the Capitol could make without special approval was Executive Schedule Level III, which according to executive salary tables, is $187,300 per year.
President Joe Biden acted swiftly to fire Blanton after Congressional leaders from both parties called for his resignation, and Congress is now beginning a search for a new Architect of the Capitol.
Public servants making lavish salaries should be worth their compensation and the authority entrusted to them, and not push the boundaries of their office for personal gain.