In a move that reportedly came as a shock to White House officials, the chief of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced her resignation on Tuesday, according to The Hill.
The Hill reports that now-former OPM Director Dale Cabaniss’ departure comes amid “internal conflicts” and leaves “a void atop a sprawling agency that oversees the federal workforce.”
“OPM has received the resignation of OPM Director Dale Cabaniss,” a spokesperson confirmed in a statement, according to The Hill. “OPM Deputy Director Michael Rigas is [now] Acting Director, Office of Personnel Management.”
Cabaniss’ sudden resignation was first reported by Politico, which cited two unnamed sources said to be “familiar with the matter” in alleging that the OPM chief stepped down due to “poor treatment from the 29-year-old head of the Presidential Personnel Office, John McEntee, and a powerful appointee at OPM, Paul Dans, the new White House liaison and senior adviser to the director of OPM.”
Those claims have not been confirmed by government officials, however.
Both McEntee and Dans declined to Politico’s request for comment.
The outlet’s sources, however, claim that McEntee, a former Trump campaign staffer who recently joined the White House staff roster, has been working to stock the administration with staffers who are loyal to the president — including some young faces.
Dans, meanwhile, drew criticism from career officials when he was appointed as OPM’s White House liaison — a crucial post for which Dans has been accused of lacking the necessary experience, according to Politico. The outlet noted that Dans was also accused of bringing “some kind of agenda” to the job, which is generally focused on moving personnel around where needed and filling political vacancies with qualified appointees.
As one Politico source put it, “He’s upsetting all kinds of apple carts without any basis of knowledge.”
A void at OPM
Cabaniss’ departure comes as OPM, which serves as a sort of human resources department for the federal government, is currently managing sudden and drastic changes brought on by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Questions are currently mounting, Politico reported, “about the Trump administration’s decision to keep most government offices open and how it is handling remote work.”
Cabaniss — who previously served as a Republican staff director for a powerful Senate subcommittee and, before that, was chair of the Federal Labor Relations Authority under former President George W. Bush — declined to respond to a request for comment from Politico.
According to the outlet, she had served in her role as OPM chief for just six months.