The site GovernmentAttic.org recently forced the Treasury Department via Freedom of Information Act requests to reveal the results of three years worth of Inspector General investigations into unethical conduct by Treasury Employees. As The Hill’s Bob Cusak reported, there were some rather interesting cases.
Though the IG’s office redacted all the names of those investigated, the office pursued the case of an employee who, while at his desk, used Craiglist and other online escort sites to arrange assignations with sex workers. The official reportedly retired, and the U.S. Attorney for D.C. declined to prosecute “absent aggravating circumstances such as underage prostitutes or human trafficking.”
Another employee at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency — which is supposed to oversee banks — took several weekday golf outings with officials at regulated banks on weeks his office was conducting examinations of those banks. The banking officials paid for the Treasury employee’s greens fees and meals on several occasions until a 2009 ethics training made the employee reexamine his assertion that golfing with those he was assigned to examine was “a condoned activity.” He, too, avoided criminal charges.
The investigators additionally uncovered examples of employees accepting improper gifts from those they are charged with regulating, including flowers, meals and a limousine ride. An employee at the Office of Foreign Assets Control, which administers international trade sanctions levied against other countries, reportedly used his badge and credentials to avoid arrest at a October 22, 2009 Florida State Seminoles vs University of North Carolina Tar Heels football game in Chapel Hill, North Carolina (North Carolina lost 30-27 after a second half rally by Florida State). He became angry when not allowed to enter the stadium while in possession of a prohibited alcoholic beverage and, after identifying himself to stadium security, became drunk and disorderly. No charges were filed.
Several other investigations were deemed unsubstantiated, and Treasury officials have responded that the number of inappropriate incidents involved a small minority of employees.
Watch The Hill reporter Bob Cusak discuss the case on “Morning Joe,” first aired on NBC News on July 16, 2012, below.