A group of employees in the U.S. Justice Department's management and operations office are under fire for their roles in improper hiring practices that included seeking employment for relatives, according to an internal report published today.
The DOJ Inspector General Office report found eight current or former employees in the department's Justice Management Division violated statutes and regulations that cover the hiring of relatives and conflicts of interest and employee ethics.
The investigation marked the third probe of hiring practices at the management division office in the past eight years. Two earlier reports criticized officials in the office for the alleged manipulation of the competitive hiring process to favor certain candidates.
"The report clearly established that inappropriate hiring occurred regarding relatives of JMD employees," Lee Lofthus, assistant attorney general for administration, said in a letter to Michael Horowitz, the DOJ inspector general. "While it was a small number of JMD staff and individuals implicated in the investigation, the report was particularly troubling as it identified hiring improprieties for the third time in eight years."