A grand jury in Washington has indicted a former office manager for Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), accusing the manager of padding his own salary by falsifying payroll information.
In a news release, the U.S. Department of Justice said Ngozi Pole, of Waldorf, Md., faces five counts of wire fraud and one count of theft of government property. Pole, 39, did not return a message left at a Maryland phone number under his name, and the name of his lawyer was not immediately available.
Prosecutors say that, beginning in 2003 or earlier, Pole submitted paperwork that caused the Senate to pay him more in salary and bonuses than either Kennedy or Kennedy’s chief of staff approved. He was able to do so because his responsibilities included sending payroll information from senator’s office to the Senate Disbursing Office. The excess payments totaled more than $75,000, according to the indictment.
Pole has been a subject of multiple news stories over the years. In 2002, Wired magazine dubbed him a rebel for pushing the use of Apple computers on Capitol Hill. That same year, Government Computer News wrote about his efforts to reduce paper use in Kennedy’s office. Around 2007, Pole left Kennedy’s office to become deputy chief of staff for Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), but he stayed only about five months, according to Legistorm, a Web site that tracks congressional pay and personnel.
M. Kendall Day and Ethan Levisohn of the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section are prosecuting the case. Kennedy’s office cooperated fully with the investigation, according to the department’s release.