Resignation of Population Official Ends Expense Account Probe
WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday it has closed its investigation into the travel expense accounts of Marjory M. Mecklenburg because of her resignation as director of the Office of Population Affairs.
Richard McGowan, an aide to HHS Inspector General Richard Kusserow, said the investigation had uncovered no evidence of intentional wrongdoing. In addition, he said, a Justice Department prosecutor reviewed the file and found no evidence of criminal intent.
With Ms. Mecklenburg’s resignation, ″we are closing this matter,″ McGowan said.
Ms. Mecklenburg resigned Tuesday, just before syndicated columnist Jack Anderson reported that Kusserow was examining out-of-town trips she took at government expense in 1983 and 1984.
Anderson’s column, published Wednesday, said Ms. Mecklenburg and a top aide took 14 trips over two years costing taxpayers some $12,939.
The column questioned in particular a three-day trip to Denver last November, where Ms. Mecklenburg attended the opening session of a two-day technical assistance workshop sponsored by the department.
Anderson said she then stayed in Denver to watch her son, Denver Broncos football linebacker Carl Mecklenburg, play in a game against the Minnesota Vikings.
Anderson quoted Mecklenburg as ridiculing the notion that his mother had scheduled the conference so she could make the trip at government expense, arguing: ″The Vikings are the worst team in football.″
Ms. Mecklenburg was the author of the so-called ″squeal rule″ that required family planning clinics receiving federal money to notify parents of contraceptives or birth control information given to minor children. The rule was overturned in the courts.