An assistant FBI director retired after being accused of drunkenly groping a female subordinate in a stairwell. Another senior FBI official left after he sexually harassed eight employees. A high-ranking FBI agent retired after he was accused of blackmailing an employee into sexual encounters. An Associated Press investigation identified at least six sexual misconduct allegations involving senior FBI officials over five years, including two new claims this week by women who say agents sexually assaulted them. Each of the accused officials appears to have avoided discipline. Several were transferred or retired, keeping pensions and benefits when probes substantiated sexual misconduct claims against them.
Federal law enforcement officials are afforded anonymity after the disciplinary process ends, allowing them to get jobs in the private sector or remain in law enforcement. “They’re sweeping it under the rug,” said a former FBI analyst who alleges in a lawsuit that a supervisory agent licked her face and groped her at a party in 2017. She left the bureau and has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. “As the premier law enforcement organization that the FBI holds itself out to be, it’s very disheartening when they allow people they know are criminals to retire and pursue careers in law enforcement-related fields,” she said. A growing number of high-level FBI supervisors who have failed to report romantic relationships with subordinates, a pattern that has alarmed the Office of Inspector General. “They need a #MeToo moment,” said U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), who has criticized the treatment of women in the male-dominated FBI. “It’s repugnant, and it underscores the fact that the FBI and many of our institutions are still good ol’-boy networks,” Speier said. “It doesn’t surprise me that, in terms of sexual assault and sexual harassment, they are still in the Dark Ages.”