Jack Ryan: If I go down, you're going with me.
Robert Ritter: Wrong again. I have an autographed Get Out Of Jail Free card.
--Clear and Present Danger
A perk of being a bureaucrat, particularly a Washington bureaucrat, is the proverbial Get Out Of Jail Free card. More accurately labeled, it would be an Avoid Prison While Retaining Full Retirement Benefits card.
It works like this. Engage in wrongdoing. Get caught. Rather than be subject to prosecution, submit your 'early retirement' papers to your boss. The bureaucratic hierarchy signs off, and you subsequently walk out the door scot-free with full pension in-hand.
Reputations--institutional as well as your own--remain largely untarnished.