Treasury officials cited for soliciting prostitutes, accepting gifts from bankers
posted at 3:21 pm on July 17, 2012 by Mary Katharine Ham
Meet the crew charged by Dodd-Frank with keeping us safe from the misconduct of bankers.
Recently released reports on the Treasury Department, first reported by The Hill, show the Inspector General found several employees had solicited prostitutes and accepted gifts from the banks they regulate. (Acronym breakdown: OIG = Office of the Inspector General, OTS = Office of Thrift Supervision, which has since been combined with OCC = Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.)
In 2010, an OTS employee “misused” government resources to solicit prostitutes on three separate occasions via Craigslist. While working at the OTS, investigators said, the government staffer “viewed websites offering erotic services on a weekly basis as well as communicating with and arranging meetings with women offering erotic services.”
To be fair, Jake Tapper notes that the employee sent $100 via PayPal to one of his prospects, so it seems the Office of Thrift Supervision did get quite a deal.
That case was referred to D.C. authorities but they declined to prosecute absent “aggravating” considerations, such as involvement of underaged girls. That employee has retired from government service. I wonder if we’re paying for a pension.
Then, there’s the golf, paid for by the bankers they were charged with regulating:
In another finding, the OIG cited an OCC staffer for accepting golf fees and meals from bank executives…The golf outings took place on multiple occasions during workweeks when OCC was conducting bank examinations. Many of the greens fees and meals at the golf course were paid for by corporate executives.
The OIG stated the OCC official “violated several regulations covering ethics and the conduct of employees in the performance of their official duties.”
The employee investigated had been to Treasury ethics training and thought this qualified as a “condoned activity.”
And, one more:
Another ethics violation in the OIG documents focused on a Treasury Department employee in the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC).
The intoxicated OFAC official attempted to bring prohibited alcoholic beverages into a college football game, and was stopped by law enforcement.
The OFAC official was perceived to be “disorderly and disruptive” and was nearly arrested even after University of North Carolina police noticed the official’s badge and credentials. The report said the officers used “restraint because they believed him to be a law enforcement officer.” OIG found him to be in “violation of Treasury policy.”
The true violation, here, is in being drunk and disorderly at a UNC football game, but I digress. The IG reports, acquired via FOIA request, redact the employees’ names, and it’s unclear whether anyone but the Craigslist Romeo was let go.
The misconduct appears to be much less widespread like the GSA’s infamous profligacy. Inspector General Eric Thorson attributed it to a few people in a large organization doing “dumb things.” But the scandal list for the Obama administration looks like the plot of “The Hangover III”— public intoxication, ubiquitous prostitutes, Craigslist encounters, Vegas, and hot tubs. Though it’s unclear where the government giving guns to Mexican drug lords, which were later used to kill 300 people including an American border agent, fits into this bawdy, fun-filled boys’ comedy.