Trump Justice Department Spokesman Ian Prior said that they were “very disappointed with the issues that occurred in the Obama administration” over reports of sexual misconduct at the DOJ.
In May, Inspector General Michael Horowitz alerted the DOJ via memo to potential “systemic issues” with the way that sexual harassment, groping, and other misconduct was handled. Many of these issues took place during Obama’s tenure in the White House, although some have continued into Trump’s presidency — with the latest complaints as recent as August 2017.
Examples include Office of Immigration Litigation attorney Victor Lawrence, who allegedly “groped the breasts and buttocks of two female trial attorneys” at a happy hour, without suspension or any loss of pay. While his supervisory roles were restricted and his title changed, the Obama administration was concerned that his loss would “deprive the government.”
Several other attorneys even received awards following complaints against them. One female attorney characterized the response to their behavior as a “free pass.”
In a statement, Prior said:
The Department does not discuss specific employee disciplinary actions or comment on personnel actions or matters that may impact personal 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.
That is why the Civil Division has implemented additional safeguards and systems to ensure that all misconduct allegations are handled appropriately going forward.
He has further confirmed that a “working group” will investigate the issues and make recommendations soon.
You can find Nate Church being a huge nerd @Get2Church on Twitter.