Let’s say you were going to throw an irony contest, trying to determine which federal employee’s position would be most glaringly in violation of the act of soliciting a prostitute using government equipment.
You probably couldn’t do much better than a Human Resources Specialist for the Office of Thrift Supervision.
And yet, Freedom of Information Act responses from the Treasury Department’s Office of Inspector General – posted at governmentattic.org and first reported by The Hill - note that on August 5, 2010, the Department of Treasury Office of Inspector General’s office of investigations received information alleging that a Human Resources Specialist with the Office of Thrift Supervision “utilized OTS IT resources to arrange sexual encounters with women advertising on the Craigslist…It was also alleged that (name redacted) used his OTS-issued travel card to purchase hotel rooms to support his assignations.”
While the files contain other allegations about other anonymous individuals that were not confirmed, including inappropriate relationships, in this instance the Office of Inspector General confirmed the allegation.
The individual, who’d worked for the federal government for 36 years, admitted the pursuit of “women offering a variety of adult/erotic services” on his work computer – he sent $100 to one of them via PayPal, arranging to meet her in Atlanta. He was “retired” from the federal government on October 1, 2010.
The files also refer to allegations made that the Senior Deputy Director Comptroller of the Currency and another Comptroller employee were “written up by OCC Security after being caught in a compromising position. Reportedly they were having sex in either (redacted) office or a stairwell.”
In this instance, however, the Inspector General’s office “determined this matter lacks investigative merit. As a result we are closing this matter accordingly.”
In another instance, on August 5, 2010, an Information Technology Specialist at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency was alleged to have sexually harassed a former OCC contract employee, though again the investigation “revealed no conclusive evidence to support the allegation, therefore the allegation is unsubstantiated.”
In an interview with The Hill, Treasury Inspector General Eric Thorson “praised senior leaders at the department for supporting the freedom to aggressively investigate allegations. He noted that Treasury is a ‘fairly large department,’ suggesting the actions of a few should not tarnish the vast majority of employees who comply with government ethics laws. ‘Many organizations have people who do dumb things,’ he said. Thorson stressed that the OIG findings are not comparable to GSA’s scandal of lavish spending, saying Treasury has a clear track record of not tolerating misconduct. He and other Treasury officials said that the OIG reports show Treasury’s systems are working because they have rooted out problems within the department.”
A Treasury Department spokesman says in a statement that “Treasury has a strong ethics policy that we expect all of our employees to follow, and the overwhelming majority of them do. As with any large organization, issues of misconduct occasionally arise. When that happens at Treasury, we act promptly and decisively to address them. The OIG moved aggressively to investigate the isolated instances of misconduct referenced in these documents, most of which were brought to the OIG’s attention by bureau management.”