Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is bringing attention to numerous whistleblower allegations that the United States Marshals Service is mismanaged and rife with personnel actions.
Grassley details an example involving the Director of the U.S. Marshals Service, Stacia Hylton, who in 2011 emailed with Kimberley Beal, the Deputy Assitant Director of the Asset Forfeiture Division, about hiring her college friend for a highly paid contractor position.
Even though the contractor representative notified Beal that the applicant was unqualified for the position, Beal told subordinates to remain quiet about the applicant’s lack of qualifications and traveled to meet with this individual in Boston. Whistleblowers say it was unusual for Bea to travel for interviews. The applicant ended up being hired, and after that Hylton placed Beal in the permanent position of Acting Assistant Director of the Asset Forfeiture Division.
There are apparently other examples of lucrative contract positions being filled with someone having a personal relationship with Assistant Directors.
“Gamesmanship of this sort undermines the confidence of dedicated Marshals Service employees in their leaders,” said Grassley. “I could go on and on with examples just like these that have been pouring into my office.”
He also said the Assets Forfeiture Fund has been mismanaged adding, “It appears that some in leadership use the fund to feather their own nests.”
“Money is spent on “best of the best” in office furnishings and decorations, instead of what’s really needed to enhance law enforcement,” he said. “That is not responsible leadership.”
All money collected through the power of government needs to be spent carefully. Every dollar wasted on unnecessary luxuries in Marshals Service offices is a dollar that cannot support real law enforcement priorities, as the law requires. The proceeds of asset forfeitures should not be a slush fund for the personal whims of unaccountable bureaucrats.
Grassley spoke to the Department of Justice about Hylton’s favored candidate hire, but he said, “the Department told me that Director Hylton “did not recommend” the applicant “for any position.”
The Marshals Service allegedly consulted with the Office of General Counsel prior to the Department denying any improper action to Grassley.
“That is disturbing because the Office of General Counsel has known about these allegations since December 2013,” said Grassley. “Still, the Justice Department told me that no one did anything wrong.”
Grassley said three weeks later the Justice Department retracted the previous denial.
“You would think the Department would insist on an independent inquiry after being misled like that. Unfortunately, the Department is still allowing the Marshals Service to investigate itself,” he said.
Grassley is calling for responsible leadership within the U.S. Marshal Service office.