House OGR Planning to Tackle FEMA Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Allegations

House Oversight and Government Reform (OGR) Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) have signaled that they will hold a hearing on recent allegations that emerged following an internal investigation at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

, which “uncovered a series of sexual harassment and misconduct allegations against one of the organization’s top former senior executives,” according to Nicole Ogrysko at Federal News Radio.

Following news of the investigation’s results, FEMA took steps to quickly address the issue, asking the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “to further investigate lapses of ‘professional responsibility, which the agency’s administrator, Brock Long, described as ‘deeply disturbing.’”

In a statement released this week, Long said, “Anyone who disagrees with this zero tolerance approach will not be welcome at FEMA. Employees at FEMA devote their careers to caring for disaster survivors in their time of greatest need. We must care for our own with the same respect, compassion and advocacy that we bring to our external operations.”

Long also “announced the creation of a new Office of Professional Responsibility, which will take in, follow up and resolve allegations of employee misconduct.”

The case is also scheduled to receive a hearing on Capitol Hill, with a previously-scheduled OGR hearing rescheduled pending the completion of the agency’s full investigation into the matter. The Committee’s bipartisan leaders were united in expressing concern over the issue, with both Gowdy and Cummings expressing concern that the fact that the behaviors persisted for long periods of time might hint at other underlying issues yet-unearthed.

Posted in From the Hill

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