Susan Taylor, a longtime federal employee and Deputy Chief Procurement Officer at the Veterans Health Administration since 2010, not only used her position to award government contracts to a former business partner, and worked with said company to hide the thousands and thousands of dollars it was making off the government, but conspired with her married boyfriend — who also had close personal ties to the company — to thwart investigations into her misconduct.
The salacious story began in 1994, when Taylor met William Dobrzykowski at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he was her supervisor. By 2006 he’d reportedly asked her to marry him, and in 2007 they picked out a diamond. Together with the mounting, it cost nearly $12,000.
By then they’d both moved on to different jobs — she was the Director of Procurement at the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation; he was a contractor she’d abused her position to hire. During this entire period, the investigation notes, Dobrzykowski was married to and living with his actual wife.
In 2012, Taylor was apparently considering breaking the news to the poor woman, having drafted an email to her explaining the entire relationship, although it is unclear whether the email was ever sent.
But that’s not all! Within months of starting at the PBGC, Taylor had attempted to get Dobrzykowski a job there, acting as a personal reference for him when he applied to be its Chief Financial Officer. Undeterred when they hired someone else, Taylor got him a gig as a consultant in her department, during which time she was his supervisor. Dobrzykowski’s company, Paradigm Financial Solutions, was paid $80,000 for his “consulting,” and within two months the $12,000 ring was chosen and paid for.
Taylor repeatedly lied to coworkers and and other officials about their relationship, shrugging off accusations of a conflict of interest by asserting that they were only friends, even explaining that they couldn’t possibly be in a relationship, since Dobrzykowski was married. When asked what the rock on her hand was about, she’d pretend to be engaged to someone else.
A 2008 performance review, according to the investigation, stated that “her accomplishments were undermined by her poor judgment and lack of accountability. … Ms. Taylor allowed a personal friend to be hired in her department as a contractor [Mr. Dobrzykowski]; resisted her supervisor’s requirement that the contract be terminated; made numerous attempts to find work for her friend in other departments; and attempted to go around her supervisor to the Director. The PRB concluded that these actions, as well as others, reflected poorly on Ms. Taylor’s individual performance objectives in leadership/supervision, resource management, and technical competence.”