Senators call on Biden official and demand information on agency’s vetting process after hiring TWO men charged with sexual harassment — one even paid $89,500 settlement to prosecutor
- Two senior employees of the federal government’s Office of Personnel Management were hired despite documented histories of sexual harassment
- On Wednesday, Senators Sinema and Lankford sent a letter to OPM director Kiran Ahuja, calling senior staff hirings “particularly problematic”
- OPM Director Kiran Ahuja has been called to testify before the House Oversight Committee regarding her agency’s hiring practices
Senate leaders have put increasing pressure on the head of the federal government’s Office of Personnel Management after it was discovered that two senior employees had significant histories of sexual misconduct during their previous positions.
On Wednesday, Senators Krysten Sinema, a Democrat from Arizona, and James Lankford, a Republican from Oklahoma, sent a letter to OPM Director Kiran Ahuja, calling the hiring of senior staff “particularly problematic.”
The pair demanded details of Ahuja’s new hire agency vetting practice.
The two employees in question are Frederick Tombar III and Douglas Glenn, both of whom previously resigned amid or following investigations into harassing behavior at their respective workplaces.
Douglas Glenn was forced out of OPM early this year after a Pentagon investigation found he had engaged in sexually and racially offensive ways during his tenure as acting comptroller of the department
Frederick Tombar resigned as executive director of the Louisiana Housing Corporation amid an investigation that revealed he had harassed two subordinates
Glenn was forced out of his position as OPM’s chief financial officer days after a Pentagon investigation found that he had engaged in sexually and racially offensive ways during his tenure as acting Department of Defense comptroller.
Glenn denied the investigation’s findings.
In 2015, Tombar resigned as executive director of the Louisiana Housing Corporation amid an investigation that revealed he had harassed two subordinates.
Tombar denied the allegations, although Louisiana officials ended up paying nearly $90,000 to one of his prosecutors who sued the state.
According to the Washington Posthe will continue to work at OPM, where he serves as a senior leader in the pension services division.
“Given the subcommittee’s longstanding commitment to ensuring that the federal government is free from racial or sexual insensitivity, sexual harassment, or any other form of inexcusable conduct, we have a responsibility to ask appropriate questions about whether OPM role model on issues of worker vetting and workplace safety,” the senators wrote.
The senators also noted that the appointments of Glenn and Tombar are especially troubling given the role OPM plays in setting personnel standards for the rest of the federal government.
The letter asks to know when the department was made aware of the misconduct allegations in both cases. Ahuja staff have been instructed to appear in person before the senators to brief lawmakers on the details of how Glenn and Tombar were hired.
Kiran Ahuja is the director of the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
Senator Krysten Sinema of Arizona, who, along with Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma, sent a letter to OPM Director Kiran Ahuja calling the senior hirings “particularly problematic”
The senators noted that the nominations of Glenn and Tombar are especially troubling given the role OPM plays in setting personnel standards for the rest of the federal government.
Ahuja has also been called to appear before the House Oversight and Accountability Committee next week, where she is likely to face a deluge of questions from lawmakers about the department’s questionable hirings as part of an expanded hearing on federal personnel issues.
OPM has so far declined to comment publicly on the circumstances surrounding each official’s hiring. Although it confirmed to the Post that it had launched an internal review of its hiring practices.
OPM is responsible for managing the federal government’s 2.1 million-strong civil service, including coordinating recruiting and hiring, and administering benefits to 2.7 million retired federal employees.