A 48-page report was just released Thursday that offers strong condemnation for the way the Department of Justice has handled sexual harrassment charges against employees within its own ranks.
An internal watchdog group within the DOJ issued the report, which was initiated by the inspector general’s office in 2015, after complaints were received that the Civil Division had failed to properly discipline an attorney accused of sexual misconduct.
The report states, “Although there were few reported allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct in the Civil Division from fiscal year (FY) 2011 through the first two quarters of FY 2016, we identified significant weaknesses in the Civil Division’s tracking, reporting, and investigating of the 11 sexual harassment and misconduct allegations that we reviewed, as well as inconsistencies among penalties imposed for substantial allegations.”
The report states that penalities were less severe for high-performing employees.
And the most condemning of all – the report states that employees received performance awards during the same time period that they were under investigation for sexual misconduct.
“Finally, while our sample of 11 cases is relatively small, we found reason for concern that the penalties and discipline imposed for misconduct varied and were less severe for the Civil Division’s high-performing employees.”
“We determined that in general the penalties for substantiated allegations, including ones we found to be serious, were nothing more than written reprimands, title changes, and reassignment for cases in which the subjects of the allegations were supervisory/senior attorneys.”
“Moreover, we found that Civil Division employees received performance awards while they were the subject of an ongoing sexual harassment or misconduct investigation or while disciplinary actions were in effect.”
During the Obama administration, Eric Holder was the Attorney General from February 2009 to April 2015, and Loretta Lynch was Atttorney General from April 2015 to the end of Obama’s term, on January 20, 2017.
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