A new probe has revealed that drug enforcement agents who were disciplined for attending sex parties with prostitutes on government leased property in Colombia received hefty bonuses ranging from $1,500 to $32,000 during the investigation.
On Thursday, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz issued a report finding that the agency violated policy which prohibits employees from receiving promotions, awards or other favorable personnel actions for three years after discipline for significant misconduct, or while misconduct is investigated, the Washington Post reported.
The larger bonuses, up to $32,000, went to senior officials who had found themselves in trouble over the parties.
Agents and others up for bonuses or promotions are supposed to go through an “integrity check” to make sure that they were not disciplined for any misconduct in the last three years.
“In many instances, we could not determine the reason why exceptions were made and we were unable to determine when, or if, an integrity check was performed, the results of the integrity check, or the reason for the approval of the proposed personnel action, because the DEA was unable to provide [investigators] with complete documentation,” the report stated.
Eight of the 14 agents investigated in 2010 over the sex parties received the bonuses, even though some were “disciplined for significant misconduct.”
The agency has received criticism for the light punishments, which involved agents suspended for as little as one, but up to 10 days.
Representative Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee stated that he found it “astounding that employees who should have been prosecuted, fired, or at a minimum, severely disciplined for their misconduct, were instead given undeserved promotions and bonuses.”