Homeland Security Corruptocracy

Jeh Johnson, the new Secretary of Homeland Security, has appointed Christian Marfone to be his chief of staff. Marfone has an interesting history.

From the Washington Times,

Mr. Marrone acknowledged in court that as a Pennsylvania legislative aide he oversaw the private renovation of his politician boss’s mansion — all while drawing paychecks from taxpayers, according to court records reviewed by The Washington Times.

Mr. Marrone was never charged, but prosecutors estimated that he spent 80 percent of his first year and a half in his state job doing the private work of state Sen. Vince Fumo, the records show

The job afforded him a steady salary right out of college and the opportunity to court and eventually marry Mr. Fumo’s daughter. It also allowed him to help land his father a patronage job in the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission that lasted 10 years, records show.

Ultimately, father and son were ensnared as cooperating witnesses in corruption trials, testifying about pay-to-play schemes and diversion of tax dollars.

So Marrone testified and got his father-in-law sent to jail for corruption. He was never prosecuted for his role in this corruption. In court, Marrone claimed that he was naïve about South Philadelphia politics.

He was so naïve about it that he kept a stash of documents to provide evidence of corruption in case he was ever called upon to testify in a court of law.

In the more than five years he worked for Mr. Fumo, Mr. Marrone kept emails between him and his boss. After leaving the job, he held on to the emails, which would serve as key evidence in convicting his father-in-law and sending him to prison for four years.

“They were just there for my protection,” he told a prosecutor during the Fumo trial in 2008, explaining why he kept the documents. “I was afraid that this day would come and that I’d be sitting here.”

So Marrone is now being considered for an important position in a powerful federal agency with lots of money and lots of access to secrets. One secret that Homeland Security is keeping to itself is how Marrone made it through the vetting process. Jeh Johnson is not saying whether or not he knew of Marrone’s history.

As will surprise no one, this is a bipartisan problem. Marrone’s first Federal appointment came under the Bush Administration. After working for the Pentagon, he moved to what passes as “the private sector” in the minds of our ruling class.

In 2011, Mr. Marrone took a job at the federal contractor 3M and later landed with the aerospace industry trade group AIA, two entities with interests in his new employer, the Homeland Security Department.

Homeland Security, remember, has recently reached the repeated annual achievement of his former employer, the Pentagon, in not being able to pass a legal audit.