A federal watchdog says that top officials in the State Department’s Bureau of International Organization Affairs harassed and mistreated staff, according to an inspector general report published Thursday.
The report accused officials of engaging in “disrespectful and hostile treatment” of staffers, and alleges that officials harassed some staffers over doubts that they were “disloyal” to President Trump.
The watchdog found that at least one top career employee was pushed out of her role for inappropriate reasons, while others were sacked because of their superiors’ political views.
The report claims Kevin Moley, assistant secretary of State for the department’s Bureau of International Organization Affairs, failed to resist the alleged mistreatment in spite of multiple complaints. The document also confirms numerous examples of alleged inappropriate behavior by Mari Stull, who previously was a senior political appointee in the bureau.
The two were accused of having “frequently rebuked employees, raised their voices, and generally engaged in unprofessional behavior toward staff,” according to the report. The IG report also found that Moley and Stull treated employees in a “harsh and aggressive manner,” engaged in “disrespectful and hostile treatment,” and created a “negative and ‘vengeful’ environment.”
The report said that about 50 domestic employees have left the IO since Moley took over. Of those who were interviewed by the watchdog, most confirmed poor leadership as a factor in their decision.
The report was based on more than 40 interviews and thousands of emails and other documents.
“Nearly every employee interviewed by OIG said negative about the leadership of IO and the treatment of staff,” the report stated.
“When individuals raised concerns with Ms. Stull about her treatment of employees, she claimed that she was herself the victim of harassment and informed at least one employee that raising such voice was pointless because the Trump administration ‘has my back,’” the report continued.
Moley responded to the investigation that the alleged events described within the report are “wrongly characterized,” saying that contextual information is missing and also that there are factual inaccuracies.
“The behavior attributed to me regarding raising my voice, berating employees and adding to a hostile work environment does not represent the person I am or have ever been,” he said in his response.
Foreign Policy reported last year that Stull was screening employees for loyalty to Trump.