“Sex parties” with Colombian drug-cartel prostitutes did little to dent the careers of Drug Enforcement Administration agents disciplined for sexual misconduct in March 2015.
A new report by the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General released Thursday found that several agents involved in an scandal were given bonuses, awards, and other perks in its aftermath.
The benefits were received despite federal regulations banning such treatment.
“Although none of the 14 individuals received promotions, we found that in 10 instances, 8 employees received bonuses, awards, or other favorable personnel actions, contrary to DEA policy,” the report reads, the Washington Times said Thursday.
Three employees linked with the sexual misconduct received performance awards ranging between $1,500 to approximately $32,000. An agent who was suspended 10 days and serving three years of ineligibility was given monetary and time-off awards.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government, released a statement chastising the agency for its actions.
“Rewarding bad apples promotes a toxic work environment,” said Chaffetz, the newspaper reported. “It destroys morale and is a disservice to the majority of hard-working federal employees who play by the rules. It is a disgrace that taxpayer dollars are being wasted on those who violate our trust and abuse their positions. If we want a culture of excellence in the federal workforce, we must penalize bad behavior and reward merit.”
Investigators said they could not determine why exceptions were made to allow disciplined personnel to receive awards and benefits.
DEA chief Michele Leonhart stepped down in May because of the scandal. She served in the agency for 35 years and was in charge of 10,000 employees when she retired.