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Justice Dept. watchdog criticizes past handling of sexual harassment allegations

The Justice Department Inspector General has found "potential systemic issues" in how the department handles sexual h...

Posted: Dec 28, 2017 9:18 AM
Updated: Dec 28, 2017 9:18 AM

The Justice Department Inspector General has found "potential systemic issues" in how the department handles sexual harassment and misconduct allegations across its components, according to a memorandum he wrote in May to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein after reviewing the handling of cases that primarily occurred in years past.

The inspector general's office said it published summaries of 19 "substantiated allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct" that occurred from fiscal year 2012 through fiscal year 2016. In the memorandum, the watchdog warned that "without strong action from the department to ensure that DOJ employees meet the highest standards of conduct and accountability, the systemic issues we identified in our work may continue."

The office released other reports which largely detail concerns about handling of allegations but don't report large numbers of instances of sexual misconduct across Justice Department components.

For example, a May 2017 report posted to the inspector general's website finds "few reported allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct in the Civil Division from FY 2011 through the first two quarters of FY 2016," though the office "identified significant weaknesses in the Civil Division's tracking, reporting and investigating of the 11 sexual harassment and misconduct allegations that we reviewed."

And a 2015 report on the handling of sexual harassment and misconduct allegations by the Justice Department's law enforcement agencies (including the Drug Enforcement Agency, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) mainly focuses on the way these agencies report misconduct and whether security is compromised as a result of this conduct, rather than the number of sexual harassment allegations.

For example, the report talks about how, in several instances, the ATF did not report allegations to headquarters and instead handled matters locally. The report also finds that the DEA lacks a clear policy on whether to report alleged misconduct to the Office of Professional Responsibility.

Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior said Rosenstein has convened a "working group to look at the issues raised by the report. That process is nearing completion and we will soon be responding to the Inspector General with the department's recommendations for action."

The Washington Post first reported that Rosenstein has convened a group to review how the Justice Department handles these allegations.

Prior told CNN that the department does not discuss specific employee disciplinary actions or comment on personnel actions that may affect privacy.

"That said, the department was very disappointed with the issues that occurred in the Obama administration and strives for a workplace free of harassment and other misconduct for all of our 115,000 employees," Prior said.

He added that is why the civil division has implemented additional safeguards and systems to ensure that all misconduct allegations are handled appropriately going forward.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 727764

Reported Deaths: 13397
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion995211738
Lake53461965
Allen40457675
St. Joseph35506550
Hamilton35489408
Elkhart28433441
Tippecanoe22359218
Vanderburgh22284396
Porter18668307
Johnson17905377
Hendricks17180315
Clark12930191
Madison12592339
Vigo12431246
Monroe11858170
LaPorte11821210
Delaware10648185
Howard9865216
Kosciusko9378117
Hancock8251140
Bartholomew8052155
Warrick7771155
Floyd7649177
Grant7027174
Wayne7026199
Boone6679101
Morgan6555139
Dubois6150117
Marshall6005111
Dearborn579277
Cass5788105
Henry5688103
Noble558883
Jackson500872
Shelby490296
Lawrence4505120
Harrison434772
Gibson434692
Clinton427053
DeKalb426484
Montgomery423588
Whitley394739
Huntington389080
Steuben383857
Miami380666
Knox371890
Jasper363847
Putnam358860
Wabash353379
Adams340654
Ripley339170
Jefferson328881
White313254
Daviess295899
Wells291081
Decatur284292
Fayette279262
Greene277385
Posey271033
Scott265453
LaGrange265370
Clay259146
Washington240032
Randolph239781
Spencer232031
Jennings229549
Starke215453
Fountain212046
Sullivan211142
Owen198156
Fulton194740
Jay192530
Carroll188320
Orange182654
Perry182637
Rush172925
Vermillion168543
Franklin167735
Tipton162445
Parke145916
Blackford134632
Pike133234
Pulaski116445
Newton107234
Brown101641
Crawford99314
Benton98414
Martin88315
Warren81715
Switzerland7848
Union70810
Ohio56411
Unassigned0414

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1081518

Reported Deaths: 19428
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1256551400
Cuyahoga1117782115
Hamilton798901205
Montgomery513291014
Summit47080945
Lucas42049788
Butler38301584
Stark32242906
Lorain24958481
Warren24262298
Mahoning21511588
Lake20618369
Clermont19747238
Delaware18503133
Licking16410212
Fairfield16160199
Trumbull16019468
Medina15247264
Greene15043244
Clark13970299
Wood13065189
Portage12825203
Allen11626232
Richland11323199
Miami10661217
Muskingum8799133
Wayne8784211
Columbiana8766229
Pickaway8551121
Marion8514135
Tuscarawas8470244
Erie7871154
Hancock6906127
Ross6842155
Ashtabula6792170
Geauga6677148
Scioto6405101
Belmont5873167
Union570348
Lawrence5546102
Jefferson5521151
Huron5427119
Darke5347123
Sandusky5337120
Seneca5275121
Athens518858
Washington5153109
Auglaize489584
Mercer480385
Shelby468893
Knox4483110
Madison435561
Putnam4278100
Fulton421669
Ashland421489
Defiance419297
Crawford3970107
Brown393857
Logan381576
Preble379398
Clinton371263
Ottawa366679
Highland354662
Williams338575
Champaign331458
Guernsey315653
Jackson312151
Perry294850
Morrow284639
Fayette281550
Hardin270664
Henry268466
Coshocton264557
Holmes2593101
Van Wert243363
Adams237752
Pike237534
Gallia235349
Wyandot230855
Hocking215262
Carroll191247
Paulding172540
Meigs144740
Noble133337
Monroe132042
Morgan108323
Harrison107637
Vinton82815
Unassigned02
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Rain moves in overnight into Sunday morning and looks to hang around much of the day, likely forcing Mother's Day plans indoors
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