Security panel chairman pledges hearings on DHS watchdog

Greg Nash

Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas) said Friday the former watchdog at the Department of Homeland Security should be fired and possibly prosecuted if allegations over his misconduct prove factual.

“If these allegations are true, not only should he be put on leave, but fired, and possibly prosecuted,” said McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

On 740 KTRH’s “The Matt Patrick Show” in Houston, McCaul said he will hold oversight hearings on his committee to investigate the allegations. 

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson put the agency’s former internal watchdog, Charles Edwards, on leave Thursday within hours after the release of a congressional report that found he acted improperly. 

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The report conducted by an oversight panel on the Senate Homeland Security and Government Operations Committee found the former acting inspector general at DHS “jeopardized” his office’s independence. 

Edwards improperly changed, delayed or reclassified reports and audits at the request of senior Obama administration officials, the report found. 

“This is a serious misconduct allegation,” McCaul said Friday. 

Edwards shared internal information about inspector general reports to the officials he was tasked with overseeing, the report said.

“It’s like the fox guarding the hen house. He’s supposed to be the watchdog,” McCaul said. 

Edwards resigned from his position Dec. 16, three days before he was scheduled to appear before lawmakers to answer questions about the allegations. He requested a transfer to the department’s office of science and technology, which was granted.

He served as the agency’s acting inspector general since 2011.  

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