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DOJ accused of nepotism for third time in eight years

Internal watchdog says officials steer jobs toward relatives

Connections are everything when it comes to landing a job. But eyebrows are raised when those connections are blood relatives.

Yesterday, the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) internal watchdog released a report accusing members of the agency’s Justice Management Division (JMD) of violating “the federal nepotism statute by advocating for the appointment of their own relatives” to DOJ positions.

The report found that eight current or former JMD officials steered jobs toward their children or other family members. According to the report, “during the second quarter of 2010, relatives of JMD employees occupied 6 of 11 paid [human resources] internships,” each of which paid salaries of between $27,000 and $40,000 and increased the chances of landing a permanent position at the DOJ.

DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz accused JMD executives of “improperly manipulating the hiring process to ensure that their own children or the children of other JMD employees were appointed to DOJ positions.” He added that in at least one case, “two senior officials simultaneously attempted to assist each other’s relative in securing DOJ employment.”

The report comes after two others in 2004 and 2008 in which the DOJ’s internal watchdog found instances of nepotism within the JMD. Both times, JMD officials promised to change hiring practices within the department.

Read the Wall Street Journal for more information about the nepotism allegations.

Click here for more InsideCounsel stories about the DOJ.

Ashley Post

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