Cummings Issues Statement on IG Report on Whistleblower Retaliation at Coast Guard Academy
Washington, D.C. (Dec. 4, 2018)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued a statement in response to a shocking report by the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General confirming retaliation at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in violation of the Military Whistleblower Protection Act:
“It is intolerable that the Coast Guard has retaliated against a service member for making protected complaints of harassment and discrimination, and I expect the Coast Guard to immediately hold accountable all individuals who had any role in carrying out this retaliation.
“Service members, faculty, employees and cadets must be able to trust that every allegation of bullying, harassment, and retaliation at the Academy will be taken seriously and handled appropriately. The Coast Guard should immediately implement all of the Inspector General’s recommendations to improve the process for handling complaints, and it should finally produce the complete and unredacted documents I have requested so Congress can conduct the oversight that is clearly needed.”
The DHS Inspector General found that a Lieutenant Commander received low marks on her evaluation in retaliation for her whistleblowing activity. The Inspector General also found numerous instances in which leadership at the Coast Guard Academy failed to handle complaints of harassment and discrimination in a fair, thorough, timely, or consistent manner.
On November 5, 2018, Ranking Members Cummings and Bennie G. Thompson, and Rep. Joe Courtney renewed their request to the U.S. Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Karl L. Schultz, from earlier this year for all documents relating to allegations of harassment or bullying at the Academy. The Coast Guard made document productions on July 13 and August 17. Both productions contained extensive redactions and both appear to have been incomplete.