Justice Department Section Called Deeply Polarized
WASHINGTON — Justice Department employees in the Civil Rights Division’s voting section have shown a “disappointing lack of professionalism” during the Bush and Obama administrations, according to an independent review that found a polarizing culture, with many staffers venting frustration in personal emails and blog posts filled with racial and other epithets.
The department’s inspector general’s office is sending its findings, released Tuesday, to top Justice Department officials for possible discipline or other administrative action against three unidentified employees. Many others who were involved in similar conduct have left the department, the inspector general reported.
The report said the hard feelings and poor conduct among political and career employees were so widespread that they lasted “over an extended period of time, during two administrations and across various facets of the voting section’s operations.”
• Blog comments that compared conservative employees to “Nazis,” and another that referred to a fellow worker as having “yellow fever” because the employee looked “Asian.”
• Employees complained in a posting that the section’s policies were bigoted against blacks, and used an inflammatory racial epithet.
• A conservative employee was denigrated as someone from a neighborhood where “everyone wears a white sheet, the darkies say ‘yes’m,’ and equal rights for all are the real ‘land of make believe.’”