Congressional Committee Subpoenas CFPB Officials
The House Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee voted on Tuesday to subpoena CFPB officials and a union representative as the investigation into allegations of discrimination at the CFPB continues.
“Through our investigation, it has become quite clear to this Subcommittee that they are the three individuals with the most knowledge of the disturbing treatment which women and minority employees were subjected to while at the Bureau,” said Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) in a statement on Tuesday.
CFPB Director Richard Cordray prohibited Stacey Bach, assistant director of the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity, and Liza Strong, director of employee relations, from appearing at the April 2 hearing. Ben Konop, the executive vice president of the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents CFPB employees, was also prevented from testifying.
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CFPB employee Angela Martin and Misty Raucci, a third party investigator hired by the CFPB, accused CFPB managers of racial and gender discrimination during that hearing.
“There is a pervasive culture of retaliation and intimidation that silences employees and chills the workforce from exposing wrongdoing. Just two weeks ago, I learned of another employee who was retaliated against within two days of filing a formal EEO complaint,” Martin, who filed her own EEO complaint in February of 2013, told the committee.
“Many employees have come to me and told me alarming stories of their own maltreatment and the retaliation that resulted when they opposed mismanagement or exercised any individual right,” she added.
The committee said Bach and Strong have outside counsel representing them during the subcommittee’s investigation.
“It’s regrettable that Director Cordray refused to allow these CFPB officials to testify at the April 2 hearing about what they know of the Bureau’s hostile work environment and the retaliation by managers when employees dare to complain,” said Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX).
“For the sake of Angela Martin and other CFPB employees who are suffering, our investigation will move forward. All those engaged in this reprehensible behavior at the CFPB must be held accountable,” he added.
Martin claimed she brought her concerns to CFPB Director Richard Cordray, who interviewed and hired her. In response, Martin said Cordray told her he has inexperienced managers.
“The mismanagement and abuse of authority have precluded me from doing my part to carry out the bureau’s important mission. Indeed, today marks the 400th day that I have been isolated and prevented from performing any meaningful work,” she said in her testimony. “I never received a fair shake at the bureau, and I have not been assigned one case or enforcement matter during my entire tenure.”