The former assistant inspector general for investigations at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued the agency today for defamation, alleging SEC officials smeared him in the press after he disclosed misconduct by employees including his ex-boss H. David Kotz.
David Weber, who was fired on Oct. 31, filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, alleging that "SEC officers and employees tried to 'cover up' and ‘whitewash’ these public relations disasters by discrediting Mr. Weber, defaming him in the public media with baseless and malicious accusations, unlawfully placing him on administrative leave status, and, later, wrongfully terminating his employment.”
The SEC brought in the inspector general of the U.S. Postal Service to investigate Weber’s claims against Kotz as well as allegations that Weber created a hostile work environment. The Postal Service IG in a September 17 final report said interviews with SEC employees "did not substantiate allegations that Weber created a hostile work environment or displayed threatening behavior within the workplace," according to the report.
However, the report did find Kotz may have had conflicts of interest in some investigations and had a personal relationship with a woman who represented victims of Allen Stanford’s Ponzi scheme.
Weber’s complaint details his conflict with Noelle Maloney, who was second in command under Kotz in the IG’s office. Maloney left the office in August. According to Weber, Maloney carried out “a campaign of retaliation” against him and said he was a “physical threat.”
Weber was placed on leave in May after he reportedly talked about wanting to carry a concealed firearm and brought a bullet-proof vest to work, according to Reuters.
In the complaint, Weber said he “was clearly not a threat to anyone’s personal safety.”