"Yes, Dr. Lubchenco was invited to testify," said Justin Kenney, NOAA's communications director, in an email. "However, since Eric Schwaab is ... leading the reform of our enforcement program, it was determined that he was the best person to testify."
As the law enforcement abuse scandal broke, Schwaab and Lois Schiffer, NOAA's chief counsel, convinced Lubchenco to ignore miscarriages of justice while reforming the system. It was a decision that drew howls from Congress and was overturned by Commerce Secretary Gary Locke in September during a meeting with political and industry leaders in Boston.
Lubchenco was to have been paired in the first session of the Monday, June 20 hearing in Boston's Faneuil Hall with Commerce Department Inspector General Todd Zinser, who confirmed his place as a witness before the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Service.
"NOAA is at a critical juncture," Zinser concluded in his report on his investigation.