When someone flagrantly runs afoul the system, they should at least get fired. But as we have seen with the IRS scandal, that is not the case under the Obama Administration. You may be able to do almost anything in the federal government and still preserve your job, at least when a Democrat is in office.
The former Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security “jeopardized” the department’s independence by cozying up to the Obama Administration, giving department heads the inside track on investigations and obscuring information about Secret Service members accused of hiring prostitutes, according to a new report from a bipartisan Senate oversight panel.
Inspector general offices are designed to operate independently of their host agencies in order to produce objective reports about how the agency may improve and expose waste or fraud. Charles K. Edwards, who served as acting DHS inspector general from 2011 through 2013, routinely shared drinks and to dinner with officials at the Homeland Security, according to the report from an oversight panel of the Homeland Security and Government Operations Committee.
“Mr. Edwards did not understand the importance of independence. Mr. Edwards communicated frequently with DHS officials and considered them personal friends… Mr. Edwards directed reports to be altered or delayed to accommodate senior DHS officials,” said the report.
Edwards, in an effort to earn President Obama’s nomination to become the permanent inspector general, shared inside information about pending inspector general investigations with DHS officials and gave them inside information about the timing and findings of investigations.
Chairwoman of the subcommittee Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and its ranking member, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), opened the congressional investigation early last year into Edwards’s alleged misconduct while looking into the hiring of prostitutes by Secret Service agents ahead of a 2012 presidential trip to Cartagena, Colombia. Secret-Service agents were reportedly hiring prostitutes and drinking on the job. Yet, Edwards charged with investigating the agency, concluded that there was no problem with the agency.
Whistleblowers claim that Edwards ordered them to remove derogatory information about the service and evidence implicating a White House staff member. Edwards also suspended staff members that continued to question the Secret-Service agency. The DHS declined to share Edwards’s emails regarding the Secret Service probe, according to the report.
Staff members also claim Edwards routinely shared information about investigators with senior administration officials on Secretary Janet Napolitano’s watch.
The DHS has the third largest budget of $39 billion any federal department budget with more than 225,000 employees.
Edwards spent two decades in the federal government and then abruptly resigned last December, just a few days before he was expected to face aggressive questioning before the Senate Committee.
Edwards, a 20-year federal career employee with expertise in computer engineering, was allowed to resign his post as acting inspector general three days before he was expected to face aggressive questioning before the committee. He then requested a transfer to the Homeland Security department’s Office of Science and Technology, which was granted and the hearing was cancelled.
“We found that Mr. Edwards was a compromised inspector general. . . who was not exercising real oversight,” said Sen. Ron Johnson. “Any report generated out of his office would be suspect.”
Edwards, who seems to have almost been a defacto member of Napolitano’s top staff, declined to comment through a department spokesperson.
Napolitano, now president of the University of California system, said Wednesday that she could not comment on the Senate panel’s findings without reading the report.
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse. Read more.
Send this to friend