The Interior Department's top lawyer moved six key deputies -- including two now-former political appointees involved in controversial decisions -- into senior civil service posts, the Post reported. Similar efforts were happening in other agencies, too, such as the departments of Labor and Housing and Urban Development and the Senior Executive Service.
Alex Bastani, a representative at the Labor Department for the American Federation of Government Employees, said his organization was upset at the burrowing.
"Everyone should have an opportunity to apply for these positions," Bastani told the Post. "And certainly career people who don't have partisan bent and have 10 or 15 years in their respective fields should have a shot at these positions."
Kerry Weems, acting chief of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said he discourages political staff from seeking career slots.
"It typically doesn't work out for either party," said Weems, a career employee who said he expects to leave when the Obama administration takes over.