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Fired House panel investigator claims politics cost him his job

Let's face it, office politics have been around forever. Some might even argue that the tempting in the Garden of Eden amounted to just such a ploy on the part of the serpent. But in government employment, except for the very highest positions, politics isn't supposed to be a factor. The laws protecting federal workers from illegal retaliatory action are clear in this regard.

That doesn't mean government workers are shielded from such action. What it does mean is that if those in Texas or elsewhere who suspect they have been targeted for unlawful reasons have legal recourse available. And with the help of experienced counsel, it is possible to exercise their rights to seek compensation and to correct the situation.

This is the approach that a former investigator for the U.S. House's Select Committee on Benghazi is taking.

Readers may be aware of the firing of Maj. Bradley Podliska earlier this month. In addition to being an Air Force Reserve intelligence officer, he had worked until recently as an investigator for the special Republican-led panel looking into the 2012 terror attack in Libya that left four Americans dead.

Podliska, who describes himself as a conservative Republican, is reportedly preparing to file a wrongful termination suit next month. He is staking his case on two claims of illegal action. First, he says he was fired for taking leave to fulfill military reserve obligations. But in addition, he says he was let go because he refused to follow directions to target his investigative work on former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Officials of the select committee deny the claims and have even claimed that if anyone carried an anti-Clinton bias it was Podliska. But in recent weeks at least two GOP leaders in the House have cited the committee's work as having been part of an effort to erode Clinton's popularity with voters.

Political aspects aside, there is still Podliska's claim that his military service was a trigger for his firing. If that can be shown to be true, legal observers might agree that his wrongful termination suit has merit.

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