Homeland Security in Texas Accused of Faking Inspection Reports
Monday, April 09, 2012
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General’s Office, which is supposed to investigate wrongdoing and corruption within DHS, is itself under investigation by the FBI, with its chief investigator, Thomas Frost, and his deputy, John Ryan, placed on administrative leave March 29. At the same time, a federal grand jury in Washington, DC, has subpoenaed all ten DHS agents in the McAllen, Texas, field office over allegations they falsified reports ahead of a DHS inspection to show “investigative activity” on misconduct cases when in fact little or nothing had been done. Investigators suspect that Frost, Ryan or someone else in the DHS IG office directed the McAllen agents to fake the reports.
The scandal has its roots in a turf war initiated by Frost in December 2009, when he sent a memo to James Tomsheck, Customs and Border Protection assistant commissioner for internal affairs, not only asserting the IG office’s sole jurisdiction over investigations of DHS employees, but also ordering Tomsheck and his internal affairs agents to cease working on such cases until the IG had approved them and could take over inter-agency coordination. The problem was, the IG office was already swamped with cases, and its caseload and backlog have only grown since then. Although the ensuing controversy was settled by an August 2010 agreement, tensions apparently remained.
If the current allegations prove true, investigators believe that the document faking was done to show that the IG was making progress on its enormous backlog.
To Learn More:
Homeland Security Office Accused of Faking Reports on Internal Investigations (by Andrew Becker, Center for Investigation Reporting)
Homeland Security IG in Conflict with Agencies on Corruption Probes (by Andrew Becker, Washington Post)
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