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Inspector General Act 1978 11, Pub. 95-452, Stat. 1109 1978). amended Inspector General Reform Act of2008 7, Pub. No. 110-409, 122 Stat. 4309 (2008). United States Senate Subcommittee Financial and Contracting Oversight Committee Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Claire McCaskill, Chairman Ron Johnson, Ranking Member Investigation into Allegations Misconduct the Former Acting and Deputy Inspector General the Department Homeland Security STAFF REPORT APRIL 24, 2014 This page intentionally left blank. Table Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY...2 II. METHODOLOGY2 III. LACK INDEPENDENCE..3 Lack Familiarity with OIG Work..4 Frequent Communications and Personal Relationships with Senior DHS Officials.4 Lack Independent Legal Advice....5 Improper Alteration Delay Reports...6 Secure Communities Audit Report.6 Advance Imaging Technology Audit Report..7 Acquisition Management Audit Report..8 Secret Service Investigation and Inspection...9 Ports Entry Audit Report..14 Tainted Audit Reports..14 Apparent Desire for Permanent Position..15 IV. ABUSE AGENCY RESOURCES....16 Assistance with Pursuit Ph.D ............................................................................17 Assistance with Employment Capitol College.18 Assistance with Pursuit Permanent Position18 Travel Florida...19 Misuse Government Vehicle.20 Benefits for Ms. Edwards.20 Nepotism Hiring...20 Telework from India.21 International Phone Calls.21 Staff Assistance for Ms. Edwards22 OTHER ALLEGATIONS...23 Notice Administrative Leave...23 Destruction E-mails.....23 Deletion Closing Hotline Complaints.24 Destruction Phone Records.24 Retaliation25 Administrative Leave...25 Poor Performance Review25 Office Environment..26 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY After receiving numerous whistleblower allegations misconduct the Acting Inspector General and Deputy Inspector General the Department Homeland Security (DHS), Charles Edwards, early 2013, the Senate Subcommittee Financial and Contracting Oversight staff initiated investigation into these allegations June 2013. requested Subcommittee Chairman Claire McCaskill and Subcommittee Ranking Member Ron Johnson, this staff report summarizes the findings the Subcommittees investigation. The Subcommittee investigated allegations that Mr. Edwards failed uphold the independence the DHS Office Inspector General (OIG). The Subcommittee found that Mr. Edwards jeopardized the independence the OIG. The Subcommittee reached this conclusion after considering related findings. These include Mr. Edwards inadequate understanding the importance OIG independence and his frequent communications and personal friendships with senior DHS officials. Mr. Edwards did not obtain independent legal advice and directed reports altered delayed accommodate senior DHS officials. Mr. Edwards also did not recuse himself from audits and inspections that had conflict interest related his wifes employment. The Subcommittee investigated allegations that Mr. Edwards abused OIG resources. The Subcommittee found that Mr. Edwards asked and received assistance from employee who worked his Ph.D. dissertation. Due insufficient evidence the Subcommittee could not conclude whether Mr. Edwards abused agency resources with respect his outside employment, his pursuit permanent Inspector General position, and his Florida travel. The Subcommittee found that Mr. Edwards use government vehicle appeared comply with DHS rules and did not substantiate that Mr. Edwards improperly requested international Blackberry for Ms. Edwards that calls between Mr. and Ms. Edwards while she teleworked from India were inappropriate. The Subcommittee found that Mr. Edwards did not violate anti-nepotism laws with respect Ms. Edwards employment. The Subcommittee investigated other allegations that Mr. Edwards improperly concealed destroyed records, improperly favored certain employees and retaliated against those who brought attention his misconduct. The Subcommittee did not substantiate these allegations, although related administrative leave the Subcommittee found that there was appearance that least some decisions were retaliatory. However, the Subcommittee did find that there was widespread belief that Mr. Edwards engaged those actions and that belief contributed office environment characterized low morale, fear, and general dissatisfaction with Mr. Edwards leadership. December 16, three days prior the Subcommittees planned hearing its investigation into the allegations against Mr. Edwards, Mr. Edwards resigned from his position the OIG and requested and received transfer the Office Science and Technology DHS. II. METHODOLOGY The Subcommittees joint investigation began early 2013 after receiving allegations from multiple current and former OIG officials. These allegations concerned Mr. Edwards misconduct and his failure uphold the independence and integrity the OIG. June 27, 2013, the Subcommittee issued public letter Mr. Edwards describing these allegations.1 The letter also requested information, documents and interviews related these allegations.2 October 30, 2013, the Subcommittee sent second letter Mr. Edwards, noting that the Subcommittee had received only partial responses sixteen its document requests and response entirely five requests.3 From July 19, 2013, December 13, 2013, the OIG produced approximately 25,000 pages e-mails, memoranda, and records response the Subcommittees request.4 The OIG did not fully respond all the Subcommittees requests. The Subcommittee also reviewed hundreds pages documents provided independently whistleblowers. Many documents received from whistleblowers were not provided official capacity the OIG, although they were responsive the Subcommittees request. The OIG did not provide the Subcommittee with any communications from Mr. Edwards related the Subcommittees inquiry into U.S. Secret Service personnel Cartagena, Colombia April 2012. Beginning the summer 2013 and continuing through December 2013, the Subcommittee majority and minority staff jointly conducted voluntary interviews with current and former OIG officials. These included Mr. Edwards, his Chief Staff, his Chief Operating Officer, and Assistant Inspectors General for Audits, Audits, Integrity and Quality Oversight, Investigations, Inspections, Emergency Management Oversight, and Management. Eight witnesses related the OIG investigation USSS personnel misconduct Cartagena declined interviewed. See Bates Nos. 000001-025391. III. LACK INDEPENDENCE The Subcommittee staff investigated allegations that Charles Edwards failed uphold the independence the Office Inspector General the Department Homeland Security. law, Inspectors General (IGs) are required independent and objective units within their respective federal agencies.5 the Council the Inspectors General Integrity and Efficiencys (CIGIE) Quality Standards for Federal Offices Inspector General states, the must free both fact and appearance from personal, external, and organizational impairments independence. [and] has responsibility maintain independence, that opinions, conclusions, judgments and recommendations will impartial and will viewed impartial knowledgeable third parties.6 The Subcommittee found that Mr. Edwards jeopardized the independence the Office Inspector General. Mr. Edwards openly sought nomination for Inspector General position. Letter from Sens. Claire McCaskill and Ron Johnson Charles Edwards (June 27, 2013). Id. Letter from Sens. Claire McCaskill and Ron Johnson Charles Edwards (Oct. 30, 2013). Mr. Edwards did not understand the importance independence. Mr. Edwards communicated frequently with DHS senior officials and considered them personal friends. Mr. Edwards did not obtain independent legal advice. Mr. Edwards directed reports altered delayed accommodate senior DHS officials. Mr. Edwards did not recuse himself from some audits and inspections that had conflict interest related his wifes employment, resulting those reports being tainted. Inspector General Act 1978 Pub. 95-452, Stat. 1101 (1978). Council the Inspectors General Integrity and Efficiency, Quality Standards for Federal Offices Inspector General (Aug. 2012) 10. Lack Familiarity with OIG Work Unlike most IGs, Mr. Edwards does not have experience conducting audits, investigations, inspections, the three main types work conducted Office Inspector General.7 For example, when interviewed Subcommittee staff, Edwards was unable articulate guidelines that govern briefing details ongoing investigation DHS. Edwards stated, I dont know that offhand here. You will have talk the office the Assistant for Investigations.8 Mr. Edwards also requested assistance from DHS instead his own staff, would appropriate for IG. For example, March 2012, Mr. Edwards asked the DHS Acting Counsel how answer question about improving the efficiency certain DHS program preparation for testifying before Committee the House Representatives.9 Id. 10. Frequent Communications and Personal Relationships with Senior DHS Officials The Subcommittee investigated allegations that Mr. Edwards enjoyed improperly close personal relationship with senior DHS officials. Mr. Edwards frequently communicated with both the DHS Chief Staff and the DHS Acting Counsel.10 many these e-mails, Mr. Edwards offered updates investigations and audits. Mr. Edwards did not include senior members his staff many these emails and Subcommittee Financial and Contracting Oversight, Interview Charles Edwards (Dec. 2013) (hereinafter Edwards Interview). Here the question that most probably they are going ask tomorrow, did not want [the Assistant Inspector General for Inspections] answer for me. Can you have someone answer really quickly and send back me. How can DHS facilitate more efficient system information sharing? what extent there duplication related the numerous fusion centers around the nation? For example, you reported that Ohio has three fusion Saturday). they were not aware these communications. One senior OIG official called the exclusion involved staff these e-mail chains concerning.11 Edwards socialized with senior DHS officials outside work over drinks and dinner. The Subcommittee obtained e-mails where Mr. Edwards told the DHS Chief Staff that truly valued his friendship13 and that his support, guidance and friendship has helped successful this year.14 The Subcommittee also obtained e-mail the DHS Acting Counsel where Mr. Edwards wrote Your friendship, support and advice means much me. There are many blessings thankful for this year, but one the best having friend like you.15 Mr. Edwards stated that was appropriate correspond with these officials and provide updates investigations and audits.16 Mr. Edwards also stated his belief that there was nothing improper about Acting socializing with senior DHS officials.17 Lack Independent Legal Advice The Subcommittee investigated allegations that Mr. Edwards sought legal advice from the DHS Office General Counsel, rather than the Counsel the IG. law, can only obtain legal advice from his own another IGs counsel.18 This restriction recognizes that legal advice from agencys General Counsel compromises the independence the OIG. Mr. Edwards informed the Subcommittee that did not have trust his Counsel for the entirety his term Acting and Deputy IG.19 This distrust extended others the Office the Counsel the IG.20 Subcommittee Financial and Contracting Oversight, Interview Witness (Nov. 2013) (hereinafter Witness Interview). Edwards Interview 13. Id.at 72. Inspector General Act 1978 Pub. 95-452, Stat. 1101 (1978), amended Inspector General Reform Act 2008 Pub. No. 110-409, 122 Stat. 4305 (2008). Edwards Interview 41. Id. 43-44. The Counsel the stated was cut out some the major decision-making.21 also informed the Subcommittee that was not given access Mr. Edwards calendar and his direct reporting relationship with Mr. Edwards ended.22 Four former OIG officials told the Subcommittee that Mr. Edwards would the DHS Office General Counsel for advice.23 The Subcommittee also reviewed e-mail from Mr. Edwards the DHS Acting Counsel which appears contain request for legal assistance, stating: I really need some legal help.Please help for the next four months.24 Mr. Edwards described his request the DHS Acting Counsel attempt solicit recommendations for candidates serve legal counsel.25 Mr. Edwards stated that repeatedly sought out replacement detailee serve his counsel, but never sought out legal advice from the DHS Acting Counsel.26 lawyer was never detailed the OIG.27 another example, the DHS Acting Counsel provided Mr. Edwards with personal edits Memorandum Understanding (MOU) between the OIG and the FBI.28 DHS was not party the MOU.29 Mr. Edwards was the only OIG party the e-mail.30 Improper Alteration Delay Reports The Subcommittee investigated allegations that Mr. Edwards directed reports improperly altered, delayed, and/or reclassified order accommodate DHS. While OIG reports are frequently reviewed for comment DHS and edited the OIG, the manner which some reports were handled did not comport with standard OIG processes. Secure Communities Audit Report The OIG released March 2012 report the Secure Communities program, which Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) identifies aliens after they have been arrested Subcommittee Financial and Contracting Oversight, Interview Witness (Oct. 23, 2013) (hereinafter Witness Interview). Id. Subcommittee Financial and Contracting Oversight, Interview Witness (Aug. 2013) (hereinafter Witness Interview); Subcommittee Financial and Contracting Oversight, Interview Witness 10, 8586 (hereinafter Witness Interview); Witness Interview 37-38; Subcommittee Financial and Contracting Oversight, Interview Witness (July 29, 2013) (hereinafter Witness Interview). E-mail from Charles Edwards XXXXXXX (Mar. 20, 2012) (Bates No. 000760). Edwards Interview 61-62. Edwards Interview 45, 60-62. Id. 45. E-mail from XXXXXXX Charles Edwards (Jan. 19, 2012) (Subject: Proposed DHS OIG FBI BCTF MOUS (2).docx). Edwards Interview 65. E-mail from XXXXXXX Charles Edwards (Jan. 19, 2012) (Subject: Proposed DHS OIG FBI BCTF MOUS (2).docx). local law enforcement.31 The report discussed whether ICE had made misleading statements regarding the implementation the program.32 According senior official, Mr. Edwards directed language changed the report the request DHS officials before the final draft was formally sent DHS for comment.33 e-mails prior the report release date, the DHS Acting Counsel and Mr. Edwards discussed when the Secure Communities report would released. After the DHS Acting Counsel inquired about which day the next week the report would come out, Mr. Edwards replied, Which day good?34 Mr. Edwards then directed the report released the date provided the DHS Acting Counsel.35 Mr. Edwards stated that the only reason discussed the release date with the DHS Acting Counsel was that would accord with the announcement related initiative DHS, which incorporated recommendations from the OIG.36 such announcement could found Subcommittee staff. Mr. Edwards did not inform his audit staff about his conversations with DHS regarding the date release for the report.37 Advanced Imaging Technology Audit Report November 2011 the OIG published Top Secret/Secure Compartmentalized Information (TS/SCI) Audit Report Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) units used the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screen passengers.38 The report discussed the effectiveness AIT units used passenger screening checkpoints and specific TSA screening procedures, well TSA officer compliance with AIT policies. The draft report was originally classified Secret. TSA then provided addendum the report that increased the classification level from Secret TS/SCI. result, the report had more restricted distribution.39 Department Homeland Security Office Inspector General, Communication Regarding Participation Secure Communities (Mar. 27, 2012) (OIG-12-66). Id. Witness Interview There was March 2012, House Committee Appropriations, Subcommittee Homeland Security, hearing entitled, Hearing the Proposed Fiscal 2013 Appropriations for the Homeland Security Departments Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which discussed the Secure Communities program. The following day, report). Edwards Interview 27-28. Witness Interview 10. Department Homeland Security Office Inspector General, TSA Penetration Testing Advanced Imaging Technology (Nov. 21, 2011) (OIG-12-06). Witness Interview 26-27; E-mail from XXXXXXX Charles Edwards (Nov. 30, 2011) (Subject: Phone Call). Mr. Edwards accepted TSAs additional information over the objections his Assistant Inspector General (AIG) for Audits. The information was included even though the AIG sent e-mail Mr. Edwards indicating that the additional information does not change the audit conclusions recommendations and should not included the report. The AIG went state that TSA had the draft report for 124 days and the fact that they are sharing [the addendum] this date makes obvious that they are trying derail our report and minimize our findings.40 Mr. Edwards informed the Subcommittee that acted the recommendation DHS intelligence official, and the inclusion the informationand the elevated classification that came with itwas important for national security reasons.41 Acquisition Management Audit Report The OIG prepared final draft audit report DHS Acquisition Management July 2012. The report was critical the DHS Undersecretary for Management and the DHS Program Accountability and Risk Management (PARM) office. Mr. Edwards put hold publishing this report, telling senior OIG official that the reason for the hold was that the Undersecretary for Management had concerns about its accuracy, and was going provide OIG with additional technical comments and information.42 However, the senior official believed appeared that Mr. Edwards delayed the report out concern for his relationship with the Undersecretary for Management, who had recently hired Mr. Edwards wife.43 The audit was never publicly released after determination OIG (after Mr. Edwards recused himself) that the audit had independence impairment.44 The OIG spent $659,943.32 and 5,490 work hours this audit.45 Mr. Edwards confirmed the Subcommittee that put hold this report, though denied that did out concern for his relationship with the Undersecretary for Management.46 also incorrectly believed that the report was eventually published.47 E-mail from XXXXXXX Charles Edwards (Dec. 2011) (Subject: For Mondays discussion with the Department). Edwards Interview 37. Witness Interview 28. Id. Id. 8-9. E-mail from XXXXXXX XXXXXXX (Aug. 31, 2012) (Subject: HSGAC questions) (Bates Nos. 020467-68). Edwards Interview 32. Id. 33. Secret Service Investigation and Inspection The Subcommittee investigated allegations that OIG reports related misconduct U.S. Secret Service (USSS) personnel Cartagena were changed altered. Secret Service Report Investigation The Subcommittee investigated allegations that Mr. Edwards improperly directed that information withheld and altered the OIG Report Investigation (ROI) USSS misconduct Cartagena that was transmitted Secretary Napolitano September 26, 2012.48 These changes were allegedly made order remove information that could have been embarrassing DHS and/or the Obama Administration election year. The Subcommittee found that certain information draft ROI circulated within the OIG was altered removed from the body the final report. The Subcommittee found that other information relating the culture the Secret Service was withheld with the intended purpose including future report inspection the culture the Secret Service, discussed further below. Some information was included the attachments the final ROI transmitted the Secretary. The Subcommittee did not substantiate allegations relating Mr. Edwards involvement motivation with regard the changes. interview with the Subcommittee, the lead investigator the OIGs USSS investigation stated had been directed delete derogatory information from the ROI. stated that received this direction from his supervisor but understood that the changes were being directed Mr. Edwards.49 also told the Subcommittee that understood that these changes were being directed because the information was potentially damaging the Administration.50 The agent also stated Although followed direction remove certain information from the ROI, made sure include whatever was removed memorandum the appendix.51 These allegations were refuted Mr. Edwards and the Assistant Inspector General for Investigations interviews with the Subcommittee, who stated that the changes that were directed were part the ordinary process editing the report.52 Both stated that the allegations were untrue, that changes were politically motivated and that the proper changes that were made were not directed Mr. Edwards.53 Declaration Witness (Sep. 13, 2013) 43-44, (hereinafter Witness Decl.); Witness Interview 20. Witness Decl. 37-38, 74. Witness Decl. 37-38. Id. 68. Subcommittee Financial and Contracting Oversight, Interview Witness (Nov. 13, 2013) 64-65, 914, 9596 (hereinafter Witness Interview); Edwards Interview 75. Id. The Subcommittee also reviewed internal OIG memorandum prepared for the OIG Acting Deputy that reviewed the same allegations. According the memorandum, these allegations were received the OIGs Office Counsel the during the week September 20, 2012, from several OIG employees. All these employees reported allegations cover-up that had been brought their attention the same agent (the lead investigator) who later told the Subcommittee that had been directed delete derogatory information.54 The Office Counsel the inquired into the matter.55 Associate Counsel reportedly threatened the agent who was the original source these allegations.56 The internal inquiry was stopped senior OIG officials and called unauthorized and inappropriate inquiry.57 team the OIGs Investigations division (INV review team) then began internal review into whether threat had been made. The lead investigator the OIGs USSS investigation stated the Subcommittee that had informed the INV review team that had been asked delete derogatory information the ROI. told [the INV review team] had concerns with this direction. reiterated [the INV review team] this time that the DHS OIG was sitting information that could influence election.58 The memorandum and supporting interview summaries prepared the INV review team (based their notes and recollections) not reflect that those statements were made the lead investigator. According the memorandum and supporting summaries, the lead investigator said, I wouldnt put [my] name [the ROI], there were omissions and, separate interview with them, that had not been alleging cover-up.59 part the same internal review, the INV review team conducted interviews with the senior official responsible for editing the ROI and the investigations approving official and discussed the allegations that information had been improperly withheld.60 According the Memorandum from XXXXXXX XXXXXXX, Assistant Counsel, allegedly threatened XXXXXXX, Special Agent Charge, Miami, (Feb. 2013) (hereinafter XXXXXXX Memorandum) (Bates No. 013351); see also Declaration Witness (Nov. 2013) (hereinafter Witness Decl.); Witness Interview 25. Id. XXXXXXX Memorandum (Bates Nos. 013354-013355). Witness Interview 90-92, 104; Witness Interview 43-44. Witness Decl. 92. XXXXXXX Memorandum (Bates Nos. 013354-55). The Investigations review team interviewed three officials charge the Cartagena investigation. See the investigation and who was responsible for investigation logistics. See Witness Decl. Memorandums Activity (MOA) are not transcripts interviews, rather they are reports based interviewing agents notes and recollections. See Department Homeland Security Office Inspector General, Memorandum Activity, Personal Interview: XXXXXXX (Oct. 2012) (Bates Nos. 013452-54) At time was any information purposely deleted omitted, explained [the investigator], just forwarded the more appropriate venue for follow-up.); Department Homeland Security Office Inspector General, Memorandum Activity, Personal Interview: XXXXXXX (Dec. 27, 2012) (Bates Nos. 013458-61) (he (XXXXXXX) had reason complain Counsel allege cover-up information); Department Homeland Security Office Inspector General, Memorandum memorandum prepared the INV review team, both officials interviewed stated there were omissions other efforts conceal information.61 interview with the Subcommittee, the Associate Counsel who had been conducting the Office Counsel the IGs inquiry into whether information had been improperly withheld from the ROI stated that because the Office Counsel the was directed not review the ROI, the Office Counsel the was unable investigate the allegations and reach its own conclusions before the ROI was finalized.62 The Associate Counsel informed the Subcommittee had been permitted review four the more than pages the ROI and could not conclude based that review what may have been missing changed.63 Nor did the Office Counsel the have opportunity review the ROI prior its transmittal the Secretary, which both the Associate Counsel and Counsel the deemed unusual.64 However, according the summary earlier interview with the Counsel the the INV review team, had abiding concern that information was being omitted from the USSS ROI.65 According summary interview with the Associate Counsel, both and the Counsel the concurred that nothing was there suggest that information had been improperly withheld from the ROI.66 However, the summary noted that this does not comport with the Associate Counsels earlier statements the INV review team that had not been given adequate time review the ROI order make such conclusion.67 December 2012, the Associate Counsel and Counsel the who authorized and conducted the Office Counsels internal inquiry were placed administrative leave. The Associate Counsel was placed administrative leave light his reported threat another agent, discussed above, well other allegations investigated the INV review team. The Activity, Personal Interview: XXXXXXX (Oct. 2012) (Bates Nos. 013433-34) (there was cover and intention conceal information); Department Homeland Security Office Inspector General, Memorandum Activity, Personal Interview: XXXXXXX (Sept. 28, 2012) (Bates Nos. 013358-59) (there cover afoot and that has never been asked omit information for the purpose evading detection). See XXXXXXX Memorandum (Bates Nos. 013354-013355). Witness Interview 24; See also Witness Interview 54. Witness Interview 28. Witness Interview 23; Witness Interview 54. Department Homeland Security Office Inspector General, Memorandum Activity, Personal Interview: Department Homeland Security Office Inspector General, Memorandum Activity, Personal Interview: XXXXXXX (Dec. 2012) (Bates Nos. 013369-71); Department Homeland Security Office Inspector General, Memorandum Activity, Personal Interview: XXXXXXX (Dec. 17, 2012) (Bates Nos. 013445-47); Department Homeland Security Office Inspector General, Memorandum Activity, Personal Interview: XXXXXXX (Feb. 2013) (Bates Nos. 013489-90); Witness Interview 95-96. Department Homeland Security Office Inspector General, Memorandum Activity, Personal Interview: XXXXXXX (Dec. 2012) (Bates Nos. 013370-013371). Counsel the was placed administrative leave the same day for unrelated allegations.68 The lead investigator who made the allegations that information had been improperly withheld was also placed administrative leave June 2013 for unrelated reason.69 Each these individuals believed they were placed administrative leave form retaliation.70 subsequent internal review found evidence misconduct the Associate Counsel.71 The Office Special Counsel conducted independent review into the matter and determined that there was prima facie case for retaliatory actions the OIG. The matter was never reviewed because the employee chose leave the OIG.72 The Counsel the who authorized the inquiry was placed administrative leave. After eight months leave, the Counsel the resigned and accepted job elsewhere.73 The investigation the allegations against the lead investigator resulted his suspension.74 Secret Service Inspection Report The Subcommittee also investigated allegations that the OIG failed include take note relevant information from the ROI the OIGs January 24, 2013 public inspection report titled Adequacy USSS Internal Investigation Alleged Misconduct Cartagena, Colombia.75 The inspection report found the USSS responded expeditiously and thoroughly the allegations and that the investigation was consistent with USSS procedures, was conducted quickly, and provided credible account employee conduct.76 The report contained recommendations.77 The Subcommittee found the OIG Office Investigations appropriately referred information the OIG Office Inspections. The Subcommittee found that information contained the ROI, which was not released the public, was not included the inspection report that was made available the public January 2013. The Subcommittee also found that the OIG Office Investigations referred broader issues related the culture the USSS the Office Inspections for OIGs second report inspection, which was released December Witness Interview 10; Subcommittee Financial and Contracting Oversight, Interview Witness (Dec. 2013) 26, (hereinafter Witness Interview); Witness Interview 33-34, 43. Witness Decl. 94, 96. Witness Interview 11, 15-16; Witness Interview 45; Witness Decl. 94. Declaration Witness (Dec. 13, 2013) (hereinafter Witness Decl.). Letter from XXXXXXX, U.S. Office Special Counsel, XXXXXXX (Nov. 21, 2013) Witness Interview Witness Decl. 97, 99. Department Homeland Security Office Inspector General, Adequacy USSS Internal Investigation Alleged Misconduct Cartagena, Colombia (Jan. 24, 2013) (hereinafter Inspections Report). Id. Id. 2013.78 Referring the information collected the course the ROI, the AIG for Investigations stated, We wanted make sure they [the Office Inspections] would have it.79 The Subcommittee compared the ROI with the inspection report and noted information the ROI that was not addressed the inspection report. For example, the OIG inspection report did not contain information related how USSS advised employees their rights, which was questioned the ROI. The AIG for Investigations told the Subcommittee that, his opinion, there should have been discussion the issue and recommendation for USSS review its procedures for providing employee advisement rights.80 stated theres always recommendation. Nothing perfecttheres always recommendation.81 Information contained the ROI that was not addressed the inspection report also included: inaccurate testimony given Congress USSS official;82 good old boys management network that condones and engages similar behavior;83 prior compromises that placed the President and national security information risk;84 the USSS obstructed the OIG investigation;85 and the USSS did not cease its investigation upon request the OIG, jeopardizing the independence the OIG investigation.86 The OIG released its second report inspection, titled Adequacy USSS Efforts Identify, Mitigate, and Address Instances Misconduct and Inappropriate Behavior, December 19, 2013. The report did not find that misconduct widespread the USSS, but that the USSS should continue monitor personal conduct within its workforce.87 survey USSS personnel revealed perception that management tolerates misconduct and senior managers the organization are not held accountable.88 This report contained recommendations for improving USSS methods identifying, mitigating, and addressing instances misconduct.89 Id. The Subcommittee believes that the OIGs decision conduct simultaneous investigation and inspection report, followed second inspection report, created unnecessary challenges for the OIG. Witness Interview 33. Id. 119; see also Inspections Report Witness Interview 119. Department Homeland Security Office Inspector General, Report Investigation: 112-USSS-OSI-00800 USSS Cartagena Review (Sept. 26, 2012) (Bates No. 000364) (hereinafter ROI). ROI Exhibit 366 (Bates No. 007115). ROI Exhibit 366 (Bates No. 007113). ROI (Bates No. 000365). Id. Department Homeland Security Office Inspector General, Adequacy USSS Efforts Identify, Mitigate, and Address Instances Misconduct and Inappropriate Behavior (Dec. 19, 2013) (OIG-14-20) Id. 33. See id. 44-45, 49-50, 59-60, 62-63, 68, 75-76. Ports Entry Audit Report The OIG published August 2011 Audit Report that discussed how DHS had used American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds alter construct land ports entry the Canadian border. Portions this report were critical DHS.90 the request DHS officials, Mr. Edwards directed certain language changed and portion chart removed.91 did after the final draft had been given DHS.92 DHS had apparently claimed that parts the chart were law enforcement sensitive, and that should therefore removed.93 Senior OIG staff did not believe the chart was law enforcement sensitive contained already publicly available data and thought the entire chart was important the findings the report.94 OIG officials told the Subcommittee that Mr. Edwards did not consult with his Assistant (AIG) for Audits the Counsel the prior making this change.95 According the Counsel the IG, this was entirely inappropriate.96 Moreover, the changes were made after the final draft was given DHS, which was inappropriate, and irregular.97 Mr. Edwards denied that did not consult with his AIG for Audits, noted that only portion the chart was removed, and stated that the inclusion that portion the chart could have had negative national security implications.98 Tainted Audit Reports The Subcommittee received allegations that OIG audit reports were tainted due conflict interest presented the employment Mr. Edwards wife the Program Accountability and Risk Management office DHS. Because the appearance conflict interest, the OIG had temporarily remove four audit and two inspection reports from its website and amend them include modified independence statement.99 The conflict interest could have been resolved had Mr. Edwards recused himself the beginning the audits.100 Department Homeland Security Office Inspector General, Use American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Funds U.S. Customs and Border Protection for Construction Land Ports Entry (Aug. 26, 2011) (OIG-1197). Witness Interview 17; Witness Interview 61. Witness Interview 18. Id. 16. Id. 16-17. Id. 20; Witness Interview 17, 62, 67. Witness Interview 17, 62, 67. Witness Interview 64, 67. Edwards Interview 13, 17. Witness Interview 22; Witness Interview 107. The modifying statement reads: Apparent Desire for Permanent Position The Subcommittee investigated whether Mr. Edwards openly desired nominated the permanent DHS, and whether that desire affected the independence his office. The Subcommittee found that Edwards actively pursued nominations the Inspector General the Department Labor and DHS. Virtually every current and former OIG employee interviewed the Subcommittee stated that Mr. Edwards spoke his desire nominated the Inspector General.101 For example, one employee told the Subcommittee Anytime anybody would ask him, would say, you know, got this, you know. Im going get the nomination.102 Another said It was common knowledge inside DHS OIG that Mr. Edwards sought the permanent Inspector General position.103 The agent discussed above, who alleged that information had been improperly withheld from the ROI USSS misconduct Cartagena, said Mr. Edwards asked him (Edwards) would survive the then-ongoing investigation, and that every request for information related the investigation delayed Mr. Edwards nomination.104 interview with the Subcommittee, Mr. Edwards also stated that sought permanent Inspector General position.105 Several OIG employees believed that Mr. Edwards interest the nomination went beyond proper ambition. One former OIG official said that Mr. Edwards would boast about his close relationship with members DHS management, how frequently met dined with DHS management, and that his nomination was all but assured.106 Another former official told writing inform you that the Department Homeland Security (DHS) Office Inspector General (OIG) has recalled the subject report and now re-issuing modify the statement compliance with generally accepted government auditing standards (GAGAS). took these actions because recently came our attention that family member senior OIG official was employed entity associated with this audit. ensure that this impairment our independence appearance did not affect our findings and conclusions, thoroughly re-reviewed our work this audit, well the results. Through this re-review, verified that the impairment did not affect our results; our evidence sound and fully supports our findings and conclusions. Therefore, are reissuing this report and re-posting our website. The report unchanged except for the statement compliance with GAGAS found page Appendix Objectives, Scope, and Methodology. 100 Witness Interview 31. 101 Declaration Witness (Nov. 27, 2013) Witness Interview 22; Declaration Witness (Nov. 27, 2013) (hereinafter Witness Decl.); Subcommittee Financial and Contracting Oversight, Interview Witness (Aug. 2013) (hereinafter Witness Interview); Subcommittee Financial and Contracting Oversight, Interview Witness (Dec. 2013) (hereinafter Witness Interview); Witness Interview 32; Declaration Witness (Nov. 27, 2013) (hereinafter Witness Decl.); Declaration Witness (Dec. 19, 2013) (hereinafter Witness Decl.); Subcommittee Financial and Contracting Oversight, Interview Witness (Nov. 2013) (hereinafter Witness Interview); Witness Decl. 47; Witness Interview 14; Witness Decl. 102 Witness Interview 103 Witness Decl. 19. 104 Witness Decl. 51. 105 Edwards Interview 71. 106 Witness Decl. 19. the Subcommittee, Mr. Edwards was confident that would named the permanent that had developed plan how the organization would structured when became the permanent IG.107 Mr. Edwards also corresponded with Secretary Napolitanos Chief Staff about his nomination for permanent position and asked him check its status with the White House.108 Ten OIG employees told the Subcommittee both that Mr. Edwards wanted nominated for permanent position and that they had concerns that threatened the independence the OIG office.109 Mr. Edwards denied would have sacrificed the independence the office become the permanent IG. Seven senior DHS officials (including front-office employees who worked closely with Mr. Edwards) also denied this stated that they had not seen evidence that the independence the office had been impaired.110 Besides Mr. Edwards and the above agent, the Subcommittee interviewed two other participants the meeting which supposedly stated that requests for information related the ROI were delaying his nomination.111 Both denied the statement occurred.112 IV. ABUSE AGENCY RESOURCES The Subcommittee investigated allegations that Mr. Edwards violated federal law113 misusing agency staff and resources complete work for his personal pursuit Ph.D. Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL, conduct work for his outside employment Capitol College Laurel, MD, and assist his pursuit permanent position. The Subcommittee investigated allegations that Mr. Edwards travelled Florida work his Ph.D. dissertation under the guise official business and misused government vehicle. The Subcommittee also investigated allegations that Mr. Edwards violated anti-nepotism laws with 107 Witness Decl. 10. 108 E-mail from XXXXXXX Charles Edwards (Feb. 10, 2012) Subject: (Not urgent: Thank you much for tonitee). 109 Witness Decl. 14; Witness Interview 10; Witness Decl. 19; Witness Decl. 19; Declaration Witness (Dec. 2013) 14; Witness Interview Witness Interview 22; Witness Interview 31; Witness Interview and 24; Witness Interview 36. 110 See Edwards Interview 108. See also Witness Interview Witness Interview 53; Subcommittee Financial and Contracting Oversight, Interview Witness 22-23 (hereinafter Witness Interview); Subcommittee Financial and Contracting Oversight, Interview Witness (Nov. 19, 2013) (hereinafter Witness Interview); Witness Interview 133; Declaration Witness (Nov. 13, 2013) Declaration Witness (Nov. 25, 2013) 6-7. 111 Witness Decl. 51. 112 Witness Interview 16; Witness Interview 77-79. 113 See U.S.C. 2635.101(setting out the basic obligation public servant adhere the principles ethical conduct and refrain from using public office for private gain); USC 2635.705, USC 2635.702(a) (prohibiting employee from directing subordinate perform non-official activities even during non-duty hours; 2635.702(a) (prohibiting subordinate from conducting uncompensated official work personal work for supervisor personal time.) respect Ms. Edwards employment, and that Ms. Edwards, who also worked the OIG, received improper benefits. The Subcommittee determined that Mr. Edwards abused agency resources asking staff member work his Ph.D. dissertation. Due insufficient evidence, the Subcommittee could not conclude whether Mr. Edwards abused agency resources with respect his outside employment, his pursuit permanent position, and his Florida travel. The Subcommittee found that Mr. Edwards use government vehicle appeared comply with DHS rules. The Subcommittee found the evidence either did not substantiate was inconclusive whether Ms. Edwards received improper benefits. The Subcommittee did not substantiate the allegation that Mr. Edwards improperly requested international Blackberry for Ms. Edwards. The Subcommittee did not substantiate the allegation that the calls between Mr. and Ms. Edwards her 2009 telework trip were inappropriate. The Subcommittee found that Mr. Edwards did not violate anti-nepotism laws with respect Ms. Edwards employment, and that her trips India were approved without interference from Mr. Edwards. Assistance with Pursuit Ph.D. The Subcommittee investigated allegations that Mr. Edwards used subordinates assist him his pursuit Ph.D. from Nova Southeastern University, Florida.114 Mr. Edwards Acting Chief Staff provided assistance Mr. Edwards with his dissertation over period least eight months, from September 2011 April 2012.115 During this period, the Acting Chief Staff said she worked the dissertation work and home, both during and after business hours.116 This work included research, editing, and proofreading.117 total, the Acting Chief Staff estimated that she spent approximately 20-25 hours assisting Mr. Edwards with his dissertation.118 The Subcommittee was unable verify the accuracy this estimate. The Acting Chief Staff was allowed telework while working Mr. Edwards dissertation.119 Mr. Edwards also appeared offer delegate the Acting Chief Staffs official duties other OIG employees allow her focus his dissertation.120 114 Witness Interview 93-95; Witness Interview 98. 115 See, e.g., E-mail from Charles Edwards XXXXXXX (Feb. 2012) (Re: Chapter 3); E-mail from XXXXXXX Charles Edwards (Oct. 19, 2011) (Re: Assignment and Model); E-mail from Charles Edwards XXXXXXX (Sept. 14, 2011) (Re: Dissertation Feedback). 116 Witness Interview 14. 117 Id. 10, 13, 23. 118 Id. 13-14. The Acting Chief Staff volunteered work Mr. Edwards dissertation, and was never compensated for her efforts.121 Mr. Edwards informed the Subcommittee that standard practice for Ph.D. candidate hire outside help edit and research dissertation.122 Assistance with Employment Capitol College The Subcommittee investigated allegations that Mr. Edwards asked for and received assistance from the OIGs technology staff assist him assignments for class taught Capitol College, Maryland.123 The Subcommittee identified least occasions between September 2011 and March 2012 which Mr. Edwards asked for received assistance from member the OIGs technology staff.124 one occasion, Mr. Edwards sent the employee slide PowerPoint presentation and asked her do the notes for each slide.125 The employee also assisted Mr. Edwards drafting guidance documents for student assignments126 and substantive matters for class tests.127 This assistance was provided during both official and non-official hours.128 The employee told the Subcommittee that her work for Mr. Edwards was minimis use both her official and unofficial time, and that she spent more than five ten minutes each assignment which Mr. Edwards asked her work.129 However, the e-mails and attachments suggest that the employee worked the assignments for more substantial period. Assistance with Pursuit Permanent Position The Subcommittee investigated allegations that Mr. Edwards requested and received the assistance OIG staff applying for permanent positions, including allegations that OIG staff filed financial disclosure documents, prepared for interviews, completed nomination forms, and corresponded with senior DHS officials who might have information about his potential nomination. 121 Witness Interview 33. 122 Edwards Interview 128. 123 Witness Interview 99; Witness Interview 95. 129 Id. 11. The Subcommittee found that Mr. Edwards asked for, and received assistance from his staff these areas. Mr. Edwards asked staff complete his Financial Disclosure forms, write several pages Potential Interview Questions and Interview Prep[aration], complete nomination form, fill out questionnaire, and write thank-you notes following his interviews.130 Mr. Edwards told the Subcommittee that these activities are permitted.131 Mr. Edwards pointed opinion the Office Government Ethics, which found that was reasonable for supervisor direct subordinate complete financial disclosure forms required part the supervisors current employment.132 However, that opinion133 may not apply situations where the supervisor seeking new position different agency. Travel Florida The Subcommittee investigated allegations that Mr. Edwards made unnecessary official trips Florida pretext attend meetings connected his Ph.D. program Nova Southeastern University.134 Mr. Edwards made six trips Florida between 2011 and 2012.135 Three these visits coincided with meetings Mr. Edwards had connection with his Ph.D. Nova Southeastern University. 136 The Subcommittee was provided with two partial agendas for these three trips.137 The agendas only account for two hours Mr. Edwards time the Florida OIG office during each trip. During all three these trips Mr. Edwards stayed Florida through the weekend.138 Mr. Edwards stated, and the Subcommittee confirmed, that personally paid for the hotel room and rental car charges for the days was not conducting official business. The OIG spent $2,650.35 these trips.139 During his interview with the Subcommittee Mr. Edwards 131 Edwards Interview 131-32. 132 Office Government Ethics, No. Supervisors Use Subordinate Complete Financial Disclosure Form (June 14, 2006). 133 Id. 134 Witness Interview 97-98; Witness Interview 100. 135 Department Homeland Security Office Inspector General, Document Production, List All Edwards Trips Florida (hereinafter List All Edwards Trips Florida) (Bates No. 001402). 136 Charles Edwards, Document Production, Charles Edwards Meetings with Advisor; E-mail from Charles Edwards XXXXXXX (Feb. 21, 2012) (regarding Edwards NOVA Rate). 137 Department Homeland Security Office Inspector General, Document Production, Miramar Audit Office Visit Agenda (Bates No. 000980); Department Homeland Security Office Inspector General, Document Production, MIA Site Visit (Bates No. 001089). 139 Id. stated that meetings were not reflected his official schedule did not mean they did not occur.140 Mr. Edwards maintains that while Florida was travelling confidential business that could not noted the schedule.141 Misuse Government Vehicle The Subcommittee investigated allegation that Mr. Edwards misused government vehicle, driven his assigned OIG driver, pick his wife while traveling between Capitol Hill and the OIG office. Following official complaint the driver, Mr. Edwards self-reported the alleged misconduct the Council the Inspectors General Integrity and Efficiency.142 CIGIE determined that the alleged misconduct was below its threshold for investigation and sent the complaint DHS for review.143 DHS Counsel determined that there was misuse government vehicle.144 The Subcommittee investigated other allegations that Mr. Edwards had misused the government vehicle and found them without merit. Benefits for Ms. Edwards The Subcommittee investigated allegations that Mr. Edwards wife, Madhuri Edwards, whose employment the OIG overlapped with Mr. Edwards, received improper benefits. These allegations included that her employment violated anti-nepotism laws, that she inappropriately teleworked from India, that she inappropriately used government Blackberry make personal calls from India, and that she received assistance personal matters from Mr. Edwards OIG subordinates. Nepotism hiring The Subcommittee investigated allegations that Mr. Edwards violated anti-nepotism laws employ Ms. Edwards the OIG. The Subcommittee determined Mr. Edwards did not violate anti-nepotism laws employ his wife the OIG because Ms. Edwards employment the OIG preceded that her husband.145 140 Edwards Interview 115. 141 Id. 142 Letter from XXXXXXX Charles Edwards (Dec. 2012) (Bates No. 00304); see also Witness Interview 33; Witness Interview 85-86; Witness Interview 102-103; Subcommittee Financial and Contracting Oversight, Interview Witness (Sept. 30, 2013) 9-15 (hereinafter Witness Interview); Edwards Interview 133; E-mail from XXXXXXX Charles Edwards (Oct. 12, 2012) (Subject: FW: Self Report) (Bates No. 000303) 143 Id. 144 Id. 145 Department Homeland Security Office Inspector General, Document Production, Employment History Madhuri Edwards (Bates No. 002123). Telework from India The Subcommittee investigated allegations that Mr. Edwards intervened with Ms. Edwards supervisors order allow for her telework from India for extended periods time.146 Ms. Edwards teleworked from India two separate occasions. The first occurred from approximately May 2009 until October 2009.147 During this time Ms. Edwards worked the OIGs Office Audits.148 Ms. Edwards accommodation request telework from India was appropriately reviewed and granted her supervisor.149 Ms. Edwards supervisor informed the Subcommittee that Ms. Edwards completed all assigned projects during this time.150 Ms. Edwards second period telework from India occurred July and August 2010.151 Ms. Edwards requested telework again, but this time she worked the OIG Office Emergency Management (OEM). After consulting with the then-IG, Ms. Edwards supervisor OEM determined that Ms. Edwards would unable fulfill her duties while teleworking the entire workweek India.152 However, because Ms. Edwards was already teleworking one day week from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, she would allowed continue telework one day week India. Ms. Edwards was informed that she would required take leave the other four days the week while India.153 The Subcommittee has questions whether Ms. Edwards fulfilled her job responsibilities while India during the second trip. Ms. Edwards senior supervisor the time stated she was given menial assignments which were not finished, and were eventually completed another employee.154 Ms. Edwards stated that she completed all her assignments.155 The Subcommittee did not interview Ms. Edwards then-immediate supervisor the employee who was said have completed her work. International Phone Calls The Subcommittee investigated allegations that Mr. Edwards improperly requested OIG personnel issue Ms. Edwards Blackberry and international air card for laptop, both used 146 Witness Interview 32. 147 Declaration Witness (Sept. 2013) 148 Id. 3-4. 149 Id. 150 Id. 151 Department Homeland Security Office Inspector General, Document Production, webTA: Certified TA Summary (Bates Nos. 000162-000166); Subcommittee Financial and Contracting Oversight, Interview Madhuri Edwards (Sept. 30, 2013) (hereinafter M. Edwards Interview). 152 Witness Decl. Her senior supervisor did not believe that she would able fulfill her duties because she would not able participate office calls and might not able work from secure facility. 153 Id. 154 Id. 10. 155 Edwards Interview 43. during her travel India. The Subcommittee also investigated allegations that Ms. Edwards abused agency resources using this phone make personal calls her husband from India.156 Ms. Edwards received international Blackberry during each her telework periods India. Prior Ms. Edwards second period telework 2010, Mr. Edwards requested that the OIG issue international Blackberry for Ms. Edwards while she was India.157 The request was unusual because such request would generally come from Ms. Edwards supervisor, not the AIG for Management (Mr. Edwards position the time). After the Blackberry was issued Mr. Edwards, OIG employee reported that Mr. Edwards directed the government contractor responsible for issuing the device tear the paperwork indicating had been issued the Blackberry and prepare new paperwork issue the Blackberry directly his wife.158 Mr. Edwards denied this incident.159 significant number Ms. Edwards calls the Blackberry while India were from Mr. Edwards.160 Both Mr. and Ms. Edwards stated that they used personal phones make their personal calls when Ms. Edwards was India.161 During her first period telework 2009, both Mr. and Ms. Edwards stated that the Blackberry calls were related the project which Ms. Edwards was working.162 During her second period telework 2010, Ms. Edwards accumulated $225 charges, high enough that the Bureau Public Debt flagged the phone bill for OIG review.163 Ms. Edwards stated these calls were related the projects she was working for the OIG.164 However, the Subcommittees review found that many the calls were placed days other than Wednesday, the day when Ms. Edwards was scheduled telework. Staff Assistance for Ms. Edwards The Subcommittee investigated allegations that Mr. Edwards obtained improper assistance for Ms. Edwards with her personal endeavors, including her pursuit degree from Nova Southeastern University. The Subcommittee found one instance which OIG 156 Witness Interview 76-77. 157 Declaration Witness (Oct. 23, 2013) 6-7 (hereinafter Witness Decl.). 158 Id. 13. 159 Edwards Interview 97-98. 160 See Sprint Subscriber Activity Summary (July 2009-Oct. 2009) (Bates Nos. 002089-002090; 002053; 002103002104; 002101-002102); Verizon Wireless Summary (July 2010-Aug. 2010) (Bates Nos. 002054-002056; 002059002060) 161 Edwards Interview 39, 45-46; Edwards Interview 91-92. 162 Id. 163 Witness Decl. 18. 164 Edwards Interview 45-46. department employee assisted Ms. Edwards with assignment for her degree Nova Southeastern University. OTHER ALLEGATIONS The Subcommittee investigated allegations that Mr. Edwards improperly destroyed concealed e-mails, phone records, and hotline complaints, inappropriately favored particular employees, and retaliated against those who brought attention supposed misconduct through the use administrative leave poor performance reviews. These allegations would serious any agency, but are especially serious agency that investigative body charged with promoting integrity the Department oversees. The Subcommittee did not substantiate these allegations, but did find that there was appearance that least some administrative leave decisions were retaliatory. The Subcommittee did find that there widespread belief the OIG that Mr. Edwards engaged these actions, and that that contributed office environment characterized low morale, fear, and general dissatisfaction with Mr. Edwards leadership. Notice Administrative Leave The Subcommittee investigated allegations that Mr. Edwards improperly alerted Tom Frost, the former OIG AIG for Investigations, his impending administrative leave, and that this notice allowed time for Mr. Frost attempt delete email records and forward sensitive documents unsecure personal account. The Subcommittee found that Mr. Edwards informed Mr. Frost that would placed administrative leave, and that Mr. Frosts leave did not begin until two days later. The Subcommittee did not substantiate the allegation that this prior notice was intentionally given allow Mr. Frost destroy potentially incriminating evidence against himself. The Subcommittee also investigated allegations that Mr. Edwards improperly intervened reinstate the security clearance Mr. Frost. The Subcommittee did not substantiate the allegation. Destruction E-mails The Subcommittee investigated allegations that Mr. Edwards permanently deleted days e-mails from his OIG inbox connection with ongoing DOJ investigation OIG field office. According one former OIG employee, June 2012, Mr. Edwards had permanently deleted days his e-mails between February and March 2012.165 According this employee, these allegedly deleted e-mails were never recovered.166 However, the Subcommittee 165 Letter from XXXXXXX, U.S. Office Special Counsel, XXXXXXX, Council the Inspectors General Integrity and Efficiency (Mar. 2013); Witness Interview 66. 166 Witness Interview 65-66. identified hundreds e-mails from Mr. Edwards inbox during February and March 2012.167 Although these e-mails were provided the Subcommittee the summer 2013 whistleblower, possible the whistleblower might have retrieved these e-mails from Mr. Edwards account more than year earlier. that case, these e-mails would have been retrieved before the alleged deletion and would allow for the possibility that the allegation was true. Deletion Closing Hotline Complaints The Subcommittee investigated allegations that Mr. Edwards improperly deleted, closed, concealed complaints made against him through the OIG complaint hotline. The Subcommittee also investigated allegations that Mr. Edwards failed self-report complaints made against him CIGIE for independent investigation. Mr. Edwards stated that did not improperly close any complaints.168 The Subcommittee did not substantiate these allegations. Destruction Phone Records The Subcommittee investigated allegations that Mr. Edwards deleted, directed his staff delete, records detailing charges his wife incurred while using international Blackberry during her overseas teleworking 2009 and 2010. Officials inside the Office Counsel the sought international Blackberry billing records for Ms. Edwards response FOIA request.169 When the employee responsible for responding the FOIA request sought records from the OIG telecommunications manager, the manager indicated that records were available,170 even though records before and after the timeframe question, and for employees besides Ms. Edwards, were available.171 According the telecommunications manager, e-mails related the Blackberry charges Ms. Edwards had incurred were missing from her inbox, and OIG employees were unable explain the disappearance.172 Employees with the Bureau Public Debt, which received and reviewed telephone charges before passing them the OIG, ultimately provided copies the billing records.173 The OIG Chief Information Officer told the Subcommittee that unusual for records missing and such occurrence would concern.174 168 Edwards Interview 119-120. 169 Witness Interview 122; Witness Interview 29-30; Witness Decl. 27. 170 Witness Interview 122-123; Witness Interview 29-30; Witness Interview 71. 171 Witness Interview 122-123. 172 Witness Decl. 28; see also Witness Interview 70-72. 173 Witness Interview 123; Witness Interview 75. 174 Subcommittee Financial and Contracting Oversight, Interview Witness (Aug. 14, 2013) 59. Mr. Edwards denied deleting these records directing their deletion.175 Retaliation The Subcommittee investigated allegations that Mr. Edwards used administrative leave other punishments penalize OIG employees who questioned brought attention his actions and instructions. Administrative Leave The Subcommittee investigated allegations that Mr. Edwards used administrative leave penalize three OIG employees who brought attention his own alleged misconduct. The Subcommittee requested but did not receive information regarding the OIGs leave policy, and thus cannot determine whether the administrative leave complied with OIG policy. The Subcommittee found that there was appearance that least some administrative leave decisions were retaliatory but could not substantiate the allegation. One OIG official stated that Mr. Edwards abused his position Acting and Deputy place employees administrative leave they questioned his conduct.176 Another current OIG official described the number employees placed leave unusually high.177 Three OIG officials stated that they were placed administrative leave retaliation whole part for questioning direction related the Cartagena investigation.178 Mr. Edwards stated administrative leave should not considered retaliation because not punitive personnel action.179 Poor Performance Reviews The Subcommittee investigated allegations that Mr. Edwards used performance reviews retaliate against two individuals who brought attention his own alleged misconduct. senior supervisor Ms. Edwards stated that believed that received poor performance review because did not approve Ms. Edwards telework request 2010.180 When Mr. Edwards became Deputy later that year, became part that supervisors evaluation team.181 According the supervisor, for the first time his career, did not receive the highest possible performance rating his evaluation.182 175 Edwards Interview 98. 176 Witness Interview 110. 177 Declaration Witness (Nov. 19, 2013) 178 Witness Interview 45; Witness Interview 11, 54-55; Witness Decl. 94. 179 Edwards Interview 119. 180 Witness Decl. 13. 181 Id. 12. 182 Id. Mr. Edwards stated that the reason for the lower rating was because the supervisor had not met his goal report production.183 The Subcommittee did not substantiate these allegations. Office Environment During the Subcommittees investigation, current and former OIG employees repeatedly reported that Mr. Edwards had created hostile work environment. One official characterized the office toxic, totally dysfunctional and oppressive work environment characterized low morale, paranoia, and fear.184 Another official described the atmosphere the OIG one [c]omplete terror, such that there were times that [they] couldnt even get out bed, [they were] emotionally scared, drained.185 Many employees told the Subcommittee they wanted change leadership. According one official, the OIG staff want have legitimate Inspector General place get back track.186 Another called the office the worst agency and said that has been run into the ground under Mr. Edwards leadership.187 Reasons include Mr. Edwards reluctance seek out advice guidance from anybody with experience and that the people surrounds himself with not have the background the experience useful him.188 According one OIG employee, more experienced senior officials refrained from criticizing Mr. Edwards out fear repercussions.189 The Subcommittee was told that [Mr. Edwards] has very limited idea loyalty and people whom can trust, and you ever disagree with him, longer trusts you.190 The result, according multiple OIG officials, has been steady exodus agency staff. 191 One OIG official told the Subcommittee that Mr. Edwards management style was my way the highway, and you dont like it, will either put you admin[istrative] leave Ill make sure that you leave.192 183 Edwards Interview 133. The supervisor also stated this was the justification offered the time. See Witness Decl. 13. 184 Witness Interview 50; Witness Interview 10, 110; Witness Interview 50; Witness Decl. 12; Witness Decl 18; Witness Decl. 16; Witness Interview 37-38. 185 Witness Interview 110. 186 Witness Interview 50. 187 Witness Interview 110. 188 Witness Interview 50; see also Witness Decl. 189 Witness Interview 50. 190 Witness Interview 53. 191 Id. 50; Witness Interview 100-101. 192 Witness Interview 10. According OIG officials interviewed the Subcommittee, there widespread assumption that Mr. Edwards reading their e-mail listening their phone calls. Nearly all the officials interviewed the Subcommittee share the belief that Mr. Edwards reading their e-mail. One former official described the complete surveillance e-mail accounts OIG leadership.193 former senior OIG official stated that, result, [v]irtually all calls e-mails receive from current employees are from personal phones personal e-mail accounts.194 193 Witness Decl. 18; see also Witness Interview 29; Witness Interview 54. 194 Witness Decl. 18.