The Justice Department declined prosecution of a senior agency official who allegedly sexually harassed female subordinates, sexually assaulted another, and lied about it to the Justice Department’s office of the inspector general.
The official, who worked with DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs, is not identified in a summary of a report released Tuesday by the office of the inspector general (OIG). The official retired from office, the report states.
The OIG, which is led by Michael Horowitz, claims it substantiated that the official:
- “Sexually harassed one subordinate when he pressured her into a sexual relationship with him in exchange for a promotion;
- Sexually harassed another subordinate when he made repeated verbal sexual advances to her and ultimately sexually assaulted her; and
- Sexually harassed two other subordinates by engaging in sexually inappropriate conduct toward them.”
The inspector general also found during the investigation that the official had a long-term sexual relationship with a subordinate, and allegedly supervised her performance evaluations.
The OIG determined that the official’s actions “constituted ethical misconduct, sexual harassment, and sexual assault,” all of which violated the law, federal regulations and DOJ policy. Investigators asserted that the boss-employee dynamic of the relationship “undermined the consensual nature of their personal relationship.”
The official also lacked candor in his statements to the OIG, according to the report.
It is not entirely clear why prosecution of the official was declined and whether an investigation was referred to local or state authorities. The Justice Department prosecutes crimes that occur in Washington, D.C., where the Justice Department’s headquarters are located.
It is also not clear whether the official receives a pension from his government work.
The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Justice Department has investigated at least one prominent case of lack of candor before the Office of Inspector General (OIG). Federal prosecutors have reportedly used a grand jury to investigate former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe over lack of candor allegations. The OIG found that McCabe lacked candor about authorizing leaks to the media about the Hillary Clinton email investigation in October 2016.
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