Madison - St. Clair Record

Monday, October 21, 2019

Misconduct involving U.S. Attorney's relationship with subordinate detailed in OIG report

By Record News | May 31, 2017

WASHINGTON – A recent misconduct report prepared by the Office of the Inspector General indicates that a U.S. Attorney carried on an affair with a subordinate and quit the job when Washington found out. 

The inspector general of the Department of Justice described the misconduct in an investigative summary on May 16, without identifying the subject. 

The summary states that the U.S. Attorney engaged in an intimate personal relationship with a “high level” supervisory assistant U.S. Attorney. It says that the OIG substantiated the allegations and the former U.S. Attorney admitted to having the relationship.

“The OIG found that the USA’s misconduct gave the appearance of partiality, created a difficult work environment, and violated Executive branch-wide standards of conduct, federal ethics regulations, and possibly federal regulations and DOJ policy regarding sexual harassment in the workplace,” the summary states. 

The report indicates that the inspector general completed the investigation and provided reports to the executive office of U.S. attorneys and the deputy attorney general. 

The Record asked the inspector general to identify the U.S. attorney in a Freedom of Information Act request. 

As of May 31, the inspector general had not responded. 

The Record also asked for the identity of a U.S. attorney in a similar summary that the inspector general published last June 7. 

According to that summary, a U.S. attorney engaged in an intimate personal relationship with an assistant U.S. attorney for more than a year. 

“The relationship, and the multiple harassing communications the U.S. attorney sent to the assistant U.S. attorney after their intimate relationship ended, violated laws and regulations against sexual harassment,” it states. 

It states that the U.S. Attorney did not decline to participate in matters involving the assistant. 

It states that the U.S. Attorney lied about the relationship when first confronted, and that the U.S. Attorney attempted to influence or impede the investigation.

The OIG concluded that the U.S. Attorney “violated instructions from the Associate Deputy Attorney General not to have any contact with the AUSA; and attempted to influence or impede the OIG investigation by communicating to the AUSA that the AUSA was the subject of the OIG’s investigation and that the AUSA should get an attorney and not speak with the OIG," the summary states. "Prosecution was declined.” 

The summaries differ in three ways. 

The first dated June 7, 2016 states that the department’s office of professional responsibility would determine whether the conduct warranted referral to appropriate bar authorities. 

Those words don't appear in the second summary dated May 16. 

The first states that the U.S. Attorney resigned during the investigation. 

The second states that the U.S. Attorney retired from federal service following the initiation of the investigation. 

The first summary states, “Prosecution was declined.” 

Those words don't appear in the second summary.

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U.S. Department of Justice