DOJ defends staffer who called Mississipians ‘disgusting and shameful’

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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The Department of Justice is using official resources to publicly defend a career employee in the Civil Rights Division Voting Section who made inflammatory comments about Mississippi voters.

Writing on Facebook, Stephanie Celandine Gyamfi called Mississippians “Disgusting and shameful.”

“Hey, that should replace the state motto: ‘Mississippi: Disgusting and Shameful’ … forget the Magnolia State motto,” she wrote

In response to those comments, which PJ Media first reported April 29, Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann called for Gyamfi to be removed from her position of reviewing legal matters related to voter ID applications for Mississippi and the other 49 states.

“Her comments were unprofessional, unwarranted, irresponsible and misguided,” Hosemann said. “This employee not only should not review Mississippi’s application for voter ID, she shouldn’t review anyone’s application for voter ID.”

Three Mississippi Republican congressmen — Gregg Harper, Steven Palazzo and Alan Nunnelee — demanded the same.

Gyamfi’s professional problems appear to extend past her online anger. According to reports, she admitted in a soon-to-be-released Inspector General report that she committed perjury on three different occasions, in testimony related to DOJ leaks during the George W. Bush administration. (RELATED: Full coverage of the Justice Department)

In response to the wave of criticism of Gyamfi’s rhetoric, DOJ’s Christopher Herren said her comments were “personal” in nature He claimed her comments were unrelated to Mississippi’s recent passage of a voter ID law. They were in response, he said, to University of Southern Mississippi students who allegedly chanted “Where’s your green card?” to distract a Puerto Rican basketball player in March.

“[T]he post bore no relationship to voting legislation in Mississippi or the Department of Justice’s Review of such legislation,” Herren wrote in a letter to Hosemann. “The post does not represent the views of the Department regarding Mississippi.”

Still, the DOJ is spending public resources to insulate Gyamfi from the impact of her “personal” remarks, as department officials continue to offer a public defense.

A DOJ spokesperson told a one Missisippi news outlet that Gyamfi’s comments were “taken out of context.” Another news outlet reported that the DOJ “maintains Gyamfi is a respected employee.”

Former DOJ lawyer J. Christian Adams said the department can’t have it both ways. The remarks, he said, were either personal and don’t warrant spending DOJ resources to defend them, or they were official, and do.

DOJ spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler didn’t answer when The Daily Caller asked her to explain these inconsistencies in DOJ’s public handling of this case. She also declined to confirm or deny whether Gyamfi made that inflammatory Facebook posting on official DOJ time, on official DOJ computers or both.

She has kept her job, although DOJ has confirmed she will no longer be handling Mississippi voter ID law cases.

Schmaler hasn’t responded to TheDC’s question about why Attorney General Eric Holder apparently continues to employ a person who admitted to perjuring herself on multiple occasions.

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