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IG: Justice Department bureau rife with nepotism

Jul. 26, 2012 - 05:14PM   |  
By SEAN REILLY   |   Comments
The Justice Department's management division is plagued by nepotism, a new investigation by the agency's inspector general has found
The Justice Department’s management division is plagued by nepotism, a new investigation by the agency’s inspector general has found (Staff)

The Justice Department’s management division is plagued by nepotism, a new investigation has found.

Eight senior managers there — all either at the GS-15 or Senior Executive Service levels — secured jobs for various relatives between May 2008 and September 2010, flouting hiring and ethics rules in the process, said the report, released Thursday by the Justice Department’s inspector general.

The officials involved included top officials in the division’s human resources office and Facilities and Administrative Services Staff, or FASS.

In one instance, Pamela Cabell-Edelen, the division’s then-assistant human resources director, repeatedly and improperly “advocated for her daughter’s appointment” to various DOJ positions, ultimately landing her a job as secretary for FASS Director Edward Hamilton in November 2009.

Around the same time, Hamilton began lobbying on his son’s behalf. Cabell-Edelen soon hired him as a GS-5 payroll specialist in January 2010, the report said.

Likewise, Rodney Markham, then-director of the human resources office, improperly sought jobs for his cousin and a nephew in 2009, the report said. The cousin received a position in the division’s budget office; the nephew won a paid summer internship in the national security division with the help of his uncle’s recommendation.

In the second quarter of 2010, six of 11 human resources internships went to applicants related to people already on the payroll, the report said.

Cabell-Edelen and Markham both left the Justice Department last year; Hamilton remains FASS director, the report indicated.

The inspector general faulted Mari Barr Santangelo, deputy attorney general for human resources and administration, for failing to act on warning signs of nepotism.

The IG urged department leaders to discipline employees that broke rules, strengthen anti-nepotism training, and require applicants for management division jobs to disclose whether they have relatives working for the department.

In a written response, Lee Lofthus, DOJ’s top administrator, called the report “very disappointing,” adding that the department has already developed the recommended disclosure forms and will pursue disciplinary measures and other actions “as appropriate.”

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