FEMA Official Reportedly Used His Position to Sexually Harass Women
FEMA’s top human resources official, Corey Coleman, resigned after he came under investigation for “sexual misconduct.” FEMA Administrator Brock Long issued a statement on Monday in which he described the allegations as “deeply disturbing,” and said he would forward the investigation to the Homeland Security Department’s Office of the Inspector General, as well as revamp the agency’s harassment policies. Long said that he will establish an Office of Professional Responsibility to investigate future allegations of misconduct, particularly sexual harassment, and that he also plans for a third party to review FEMA’s approach to investigating and resolving misconduct allegations. Coleman, who resigned June 18th, had been the agency’s Chief Component Human Capital Officer since October 2013. While Long did not go into the allegations against Coleman, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) issued a statement with more detail about the nature of the allegations: “Today’s report reveals that one of FEMA’s top human resources officials—whose job it was to secure a safe and stable work environment—abused his subordinates by demanding sexual favors and then punishing or rewarding employees based on whether they complied with or rejected his demands," Cummings said. "I commend FEMA for conducting this internal investigation, and I believe the oversight committee should hold hearings on this report and other critical management failures at FEMA right away.” Coleman reportedly hired dozens of men who were friends and college fraternity brothers, as well as women he met at bars and on online dating sites. He then promoted them to roles throughout FEMA without going through proper federal hiring channels. WaPo reports that Coleman then transferred some of the women in and out of departments, some to regional offices, so his friends could try to have sexual relationships with them, according to statements and interviews with employees. More here.