HHS employee arrested after bringing gun to work: report
A Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) employee was arrested for possessing a firearm inside a House office building, Politico first reported.
Rodney Spann, a branch chief under the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, was arrested by Capitol Police at the O’Neill House Office Building on Thursday afternoon.
“The Suspect was arrested and charged with Carrying a Pistol without a License – Felony; Unregistered Firearm – Misdemeanor, and Unregistered Ammo – Misdemeanor,” a Capitol Police official told Politico.
Capitol Police and HHS did not immediately respond to an inquiry from The Hill.
Spann, a military veteran, leads the agency’s efforts to disperse disaster management staff and emergency responders across the country. His team deploys personnel to assist local agencies in combating the spread of the coronavirus.
HHS staff told Politico that Spann’s arrest comes after complaints of hostile behavior. At least two HHS employees have filed formal complaints against Spann in recent weeks.
Staff told Politico the office work environment had been stressful in recent months, particularly after Rick Bright was removed from his role leading the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and pushed to a more narrow position at the National Institute of Health.
Bright said in a statement that he was ousted because he limited the broad use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, two drugs that President Trump repeatedly pushed as potential COVID-19 cures without evidence. Democratic lawmakers have since called for an investigation into Bright’s reassignment.