Judiciary's Durbin, Grassley request info on DHS's internal sexual harassment probe

'Simply put, the numbers are beyond unacceptable and demand immediate changes,' the letter said

Updated: December 1, 2022 - 11:53am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Links

The Democrat and Republican leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee have requested information from the Department of Homeland Security internal investigation into sexual harassment allegation.

Committee Chairman Sen. Dick Durbin, Illinois Democrat, and Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the committee's top Republican, made the request in a letter sent Wednesday to the agency that raises questions about a "working group" probing the matter  and the handling of an internal DHS survey on the issue by the DHS's Office of Inspector General.

"We are concerned about DHS OIG’s handling of this survey, and we recognize that you responded by establishing a working group to examine sexual harassment at DHS," they wrote.

"Given the seriousness of the issues raised by the survey, Congress requires details with respect to the working group’s examination. Accordingly, we write today to seek information regarding the working group’s established mission, findings, and recommendations."

The department has yet to respond to the letter. 

A recent survey found over 10,000 DHS employees experienced sexual harassment or misconduct but 8,148 did not file reports.

"Simply put, the numbers are beyond unacceptable and demand immediate changes," the letter also states. "The new working group was assigned to the Department’s General Counsel, and it was tasked with a 45-day review of the employee misconduct discipline processes at DHS and providing recommendations for improvements.

"DHS has indicated that the recommended changes are already underway; however, we are seeking specific details on the steps you have taken and the reforms you have implemented to end the scourge of misconduct within your department."