The Department of Justice (DOJ) declined prosecution of a senior agency official who allegedly sexually harassed female subordinates, sexually assaulted another, and lied about it to the DOJ’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 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 the official allegedly had a long-term sexual relationship with a subordinate and might have supervised her performance evaluations. (RELATED: DOJ Inspector General Finds FBI Official Accepted Gifts From Reporters, Lied About It)
The OIG determined 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 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 DOJ prosecutes crimes that occur in Washington, D.C., where the DOJ’s headquarters are located.
It is also not clear whether the official receives a pension from his government work.
The DOJ did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
It has investigated at least one prominent case of lack of candor before the OIG. Federal prosecutors reportedly used a grand jury to investigate former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe over lack of candor allegations. The OIG found McCabe lacked candor about authorizing leaks to the media about the Hillary Clinton email investigation in October 2016.
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