Inspector General: Nepotism Prevalent at Justice Department

Inspector General: Nepotism Prevalent at Justice Department

The Justice Department’s inspector general found rampant nepotism in Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department. 

According to The Hill, the inspector general found “at least seven instances of federal employees engaging in illegal attempts to hire family members at the agency.”

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) was tipped off by a DOJ whistleblower and informed the IG in 2010, which prompted the investigation. On Thursday, Wolf said the report was alarming and called on the DOJ to punish all of the employees the IG found to have engaged in acts of nepotism. 

“The report issued by the Department of Justice Inspector General today is alarming, especially given that the department has twice been warned about these illegal practices before,” Wold said in a statement. 

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) called on Holder to to hold the DOJ employees accountable and said this is yet another instance of Holder’s DOJ running wild. 

“This is another example of the Justice Department run wild,” Grassley said. “At the very least, the Attorney General needs to hold these employees accountable — with more than just disciplinary action.”

According to The Hill, The IG’s report “found seven examples of employees within the DOJ’s Justice Management Division (JMD) attempting to hire the family members of their fellow employees” and another two instances of employees engaging in schemes to hire the children of their friends from different sections within the Justice Department. The IG also discovered that DOJ employees also tried to scheme to get their cousins and nephews hired.

In 2008, the IG recommended a “zero-tolerance” policy for DOJ nepotism. According to The Hill, Assistant Attorney General Lee Lofhtus,  conceded that the guilty parties willfully and knowingly violated the nepotism rules. 

“The OIG report concludes by saying most of the misconduct identified in the report did not stem from ignorance of the rules, but rather was the result of bad behavior by individuals insufficiently impressed with the principles of fair and open competition.” 

Lofhtus said the DOJ will institute stricter disclosure rules in which employees will have to disclose any family member currently working or seeking employment at the DOJ.