Monday, June 20, 2016

Interior chief warns 70,000 employees: Sexual harassment is ‘completely out of line with our values’

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell sent a warning to 70,000 agency employees last week to “comply with the ethical responsibilities expected of all Federal employees” and said she is troubled by reports of sexual harassment in the National Park Service. The unusual email came a day after Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis was lambasted by Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill for his response to allegations of sexual harassment at two parks. Lawmakers accused Jarvis — who has been embroiled in his own ethics scandal — of a slow response to what they called a culture of harassment and said they suspect the problem is widespread. The email, obtained by The Washington Post, also refers to other misconduct and lapses in judgment disclosed by the Interior Department’s watchdog. In a report released last week, Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall found that a researcher at the U.S. Geological Survey committed scientific misconduct and data manipulation that affected two dozen research projects worth more than $100 million. But the Park Service’s sexual harassment cases have drawn the most attention from the public. A high-profile investigation by Kendall’s office released in January documented evidence of a long-term pattern of harassment and a hostile work environment at the Grand Canyon, where boatmen and a supervisor pressured female colleagues for sex on long river trips, bullied them, then retaliated against some who rejected their advances or reported the problems, investigators found....more


Anonymous said...

If only this were true. It is not. The Interior Department is one of the most backward agencies when it comes to dealing with the issue of sexual harassment.

Anonymous said...

Bullying and "might makes right" values embody the entire culture of every DOI agency from her highness the Secretaryl on down the line. Sexual harassment is just one aspect of the glorified bully culture of the entire DOI. Why is a little sexual harassment within the agencies so shocking to anyone? Name one DOI agency that is not run by arrogant power-hungry bullies. (a woman posted this).