Dem senator urges Pompeo to fire State official accused of retaliation, harassment

Dem senator urges Pompeo to fire State official accused of retaliation, harassment
© Aaron Schwartz

Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezDems block Cruz's Nord Stream 2 sanctions bill Overnight Defense & National Security — Differences remain between NATO, Russia Senate Democrats unveil bill sanctioning Russia over Ukraine MORE (N.J.), the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is calling on Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoPence to deliver keynote at fundraising banquet for South Carolina-based pregnancy center Russia suggests military deployments to Cuba, Venezuela an option The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Winter is here for Democrats MORE to fire a State Department official who was investigated by the inspector general for alleged retaliation and harassment.

Menendez, in a letter to Pompeo sent on Friday, said the secretary should immediately fire Kevin Moley, an assistant secretary who oversees the Bureau of International Organization Affairs. 

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"As Secretary, you must send the message that any retaliation will not be tolerated and that perpetrators of such actions will be held fully accountable. As such, I call on you to immediately terminate Assistant Secretary Moley from his position as Assistant Secretary and as an employee of the Department," Menendez wrote. 

His letter comes after the State Department inspector general (IG) found "evidence of leadership and management deficiencies and mistreatment of career employee" in the bureau, including "disrespectful and hostile treatment of employees” and accusations against employees viewed as "'disloyal' based on their perceived political views and retaliation associated with conflicts of interest."

As part of its recommendations, which were released in August, the State Department IG said the department should consider if disciplinary action against Moley is appropriate. 

Menendez added that Moley still being in his position despite the watchdog's findings is "unacceptable."

"This is an unexplainable insult to the Department, especially employees who remain in IO," he said, adding that he wants a briefing on steps the department has taken to address retaliation. 

Moley, in his response included in the inspector general report, said the information in the report was "concerning," but he believed there was "contextual information missing and factual inaccuracies that could skew perceptions of actions that the bureau has taken." 

The State Department IG said it stands by its findings.