DOE official violated nepotism policy, internal watchdog finds

DOE informed the inspector general that it plans to make changes to its internship hiring process.

But the inspector general noted that the “senior EERE official told us that he did not believe there was any wrongdoing on his part.”

That feeling extended to the two officials who hired the EERE employee’s children, the report said.

Those officials said they didn’t feel pressured by their colleague to select his children for the internships. They said they also believed it was common for staff to provide resumes and inquire about internships for relatives.

“These officials stated that they did not believe there was a violation of nepotism rules,” the report said.

That assumption runs counter to warnings from other DOE officials who have said that “such activities were problematic,” the inspector general said.