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Press Release Published: May 8, 2024

Comer, McClain, Biggs to Biden: Why Have You Not Fired FDIC Chair Gruenberg?

WASHINGTON—House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.), Subcommittee on Health Care and Financial Services Chairwoman Lisa McClain (R-Mich.), and Representative Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) today are calling on President Joe Biden to provide all documents and communications related to the Biden Administration’s response to the allegations against Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chairman Martin Gruenberg and are questioning why President Biden has not fired him. A new report raises concerns about the leadership of Martin Gruenberg as it details sexual harassment, bullying, and discrimination rampant within the FDIC.

“The Committee on Oversight and Accountability writes to conduct oversight of your Administration’s response to the toxic workplace environment within the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), including abusive actions taken by Chairman Gruenberg. A recently released report found sexual harassment, bullying, and discrimination rampant within the FDIC, and perpetrators at times being promoted. Furthermore, the report raises serious doubts about the leadership of Chairman Martin Gruenberg. The Committee therefore requests documents and communications related to your Administration’s response to these allegations,” wrote the lawmakers.

In November 2023, the Wall Street Journal reported shocking stories of a toxic workplace environment at the FDIC, which included sexual harassment and misogyny running rampant throughout the agency.  In a follow up article by the Journal, FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg was emblematic of the toxic environment at the agency he heads. To ensure the allegations were properly investigated, a special committee appointed by the FDIC commissioned Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton to conduct an independent review. On May 7, 2024, the FDIC released the damning findings of the review, painting a sobering picture of the toxic work environment under Chairman Gruenberg’s leadership and details his abusive actions.

“In your first week in office, you hosted a White House ceremony to swear in multiple members of your staff and implored them to be civil to the people with whom they interact. At the swearing in event you said, ‘Everyone, every single person, regardless of their background, is entitled to be treated with dignity.  I expect you to do that for all the folks you deal with.’ To emphasize your seriousness, you said ‘I’m not joking when I say this. If you ever work with me and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I promise you I will fire you on the spot,’” continued the lawmakers. “In light of the report’s findings and your early lip service to the principle of workplace civility, why have you not fired Chairman Gruenberg? The lack of accountability for Chairman Gruenberg raises concerns as to whether your Administration takes seriously the failures under Chairman Gruenberg’s leadership.”

Read the letter to President Biden here.

Read More: McClain, Biggs Launch Probe into Allegations of Sexual Harassment and Discrimination at Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation