US Ambassador Worked in Bathroom to Flout State Dept.

Scott Gration refused to use Nairobi embassy's IT, set up office in the can
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2015 1:28 PM CDT
US Ambassador Worked in Bathroom to Flout State Dept.
Taking care of business.   (Shutterstock)

Hillary Clinton is under the microscope for conducting official State Department business from a personal email account. But she probably wasn't working out of her bathroom—unlike an ex-US ambassador to Kenya who did just that. Ars Technica resurfaces the 2012 story of Scott Gration, who balked at using the Nairobi embassy's IT and so reportedly set up shop in a bathroom there where he could access an unsecured network and use Gmail. After he resigned in June 2012 over "differences with Washington regarding my leadership style," the New Republic published an article in which it mentioned how staff members would have to sit on the toilet during meetings with him.

A report released by the State Department's Inspector General in August of that year noted that Gration himself ordered "a commercial Internet connection" be installed in the bathroom. Gration may have set up his laptop in the loo for several reasons, writes Sean Gallagher for Ars Technica: Maybe he didn't want his correspondence backed up on State servers, or perhaps the department's IT was just so abysmal and/or unresponsive that Gration just figured he'd DIY it. Either way, the ambassador got chewed out in the report for "willfully [disregarding] Department regulations on the use of commercial email for official government business." He was given a chance to resign after being shown a draft of the report; the New Republic reported that he took his case to the top echelons of the department, though not to Clinton, to no avail. (Wonder if his office TP had any world leaders on it.)

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