What’s your pleasure:porn, prostitution or bribes? All are among the scores of criminal misconduct cases sent to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for prosecution each year but whose perpetrators never saw the inside of a courtroom.tice
Prosecution of corruption in the public sector reached an historic low under Barack Obama as of 2014, with 16% fewer federal employee corruption cases in an average year during his presidency than under former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
Prosecutions of government misconduct reached a 20-year low in 2015, according to new data from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.
Cases involving child pornography and solicitation for prostitution were among the most perplexing recent government employee criminal investigations the DOJ declined to prosecute, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation analysis.
A DOJ spokesman declined to comment on how the department decides whether to prosecute or drop criminal cases. DOJ policy says officials consider the projected benefit to the federal government, law enforcement priorities, strength of the available evidence, the seriousness of the offense, and the deterrent value of a conviction before making a decision.
Here are some of the government officials found responsible for criminal behavior but escaped the halls of justice.
The Assistant U.S. Attorney with child pornography on his computer
An Assistant U.S. Attorney stored adult and child pornography on a government computer, but the DOJ declined to prosecute him, according to 2011 findings by the DOJ IG. The lack of prosecution was so outrageous to Iowa Republican Sen.Chuck Grassley that he demanded then-Attorney General Eric Holder investigate why the DOJ never pressed charges.
Fish & Wildlife manager lobbied Congress
An unnamed U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services’ (FWS) refuge manager violated anti-lobbying laws by writing a letter to Congress opposing legislation, according to a Department of Interior (DOI) Office of Inspector General investigation. The IG referred the case to the DOJ’s Public Integrity Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina — both declined to prosecute.
The anonymous refuge manager helped a private entity write a letter to Congress opposing the “Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act,” a bill introduced in 2012, but never enacted, according to the IG. The FWS manager admitting to drafting the letter in violation of anti-lobbying laws, but FWS only required him to take ethics training.
Top education bureaucrat dodged taxes, used employees in his private business
Danny Harris, the Department of Education’s (DOE) top technology official, admitted using agency employees for his side business, failing to disclose outside income and failing to pay taxes on that income for multiple years, according to his admission and an investigation by the department’s IG. But the DOJ wasn’t interested in prosecuting him, telling the department to take administrative action instead.
Senior Secret Service employee gave a shady promotion
A senior U.S. Secret Service employee signed off on a promotion for a subordinate with whom he was financially connected, a clear conflict of interest, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General. But the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute, instead there was administrative action.
Former DHS executive broke post-government employment laws
A former DHS assistant secretary violated federal law by trying to influence a department where he previously worked while at DHS, according to the DHS IG. The U.S. Attorney’s Office chose not to prosecute.
Department of Veterans Affairs officials in the wait-time scandal
The DOJ declined to pursue dozens of cases referred by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General over the VA’s cover up of long patient waiting lists, according to a Washington Examiner report. The FBI opened one criminal investigation into the Phoenix VA facilities where at least 40 veterans died waiting for care.
Parks Service employees groped female colleagues
National Park Service (NPS) employees perpetuated a culture of sexual harassment at the Grand Canyon River District over 15 years, allegedly grabbing a female coworker’s crotch, taking a picture under another’s dress, and groping yet another woman, according to a DOI IG report. The DOI IG referred the sexual misconduct cases to the DOJ, which declined to prosecute anyone.
Treasury officials solicited prostitutes, took bribes from bankers
Department of Treasury officials solicited prostitutes, broke conflict-of-interest rules and accepted gifts from private sector executives, according to the department’s IG. One Office of Thrift Supervision employee “misused” government resources to solicit prostitutes from Craigslist in 2010, according to the IG.
Another Treasury staffer in the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency accepted golf fees and meals from bank executives. Other Treasury officials had conflicts of interest over contract bids and accepted improper gifts, the IG found. The U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Southern District of Georgia and the District of Columbia prosecuted no one.
This report, by Kathryn Watson, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.