Subcommittee Continues Investigation of CFPB
Allegations of Discrimination and Retaliation Continue to Surface at Troubled Agency
June 12, 2014 -
The House Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee voted today to authorize subpoenas for two more whistleblowers who have come forward alleging discrimination and retaliation at the CFPB.
The whistleblowers -- CFPB Examiner Ali Naraghi and former Bureau employee Kevin Williams – asked to be subpoenaed in order to protect their interests and guard against further retaliation by the Bureau
The latest round of subpoenas is part of the Subcommittee’s ongoing investigation into what a previous CFPB whistleblower testified is “a pervasive culture of retaliation and intimidation that silences employees and chills the workforce from exposing wrongdoing.”
"When allegations of discrimination at the CFPB were first uncovered, my subcommittee committed to investigating these claims and providing all affected Bureau employees a forum to share their stories of mistreatment by agency leaders,” said Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Patrick McHenry (R-NC). “We are continuing these important efforts by subpoenaing two more employees who have experienced both discrimination and retaliation while at the Bureau. This behavior has no place in our government and my subcommittee will not rest until we have exposed those CFPB leaders responsible,” McHenry added.
The Subcommittee has already held two hearings on employee allegations, which were first chronicled in a March 6 article in the American Banker.
At the Subcommittee’s April 2 hearing, CFPB attorney and whistleblower Angela Martin testified about the Bureau’s “pervasive culture of retaliation and intimidation,” saying she and her colleagues “have suffered and are suffering at the hands of inexperienced, unaccountable managers.”
At that same hearing, the Subcommittee heard testimony from Misty Raucci, an outside investigator hired by the CFPB to examine Martin’s claims. Raucci’s investigation concluded that Martin’s claims of retaliation were valid.
On May 21, the Subcommittee heard testimony from two subpoenaed witnesses: Liza Strong, the Director of Employee Relations at the CFPB, and Ben Konop, Executive Vice President of Chapter 335 of the National Treasury Employees.
Konop testified that the employees union “alleged that women and minority employees were being underpaid when compared to similarly situated white male colleagues. To date, the Bureau has denied each of these grievances at all stages, often using inconsistent reasoning, despite what I feel is convincing evidence of low pay for numerous women and minority workers.”
At that same hearing, the Subcommittee discussed a report commissioned by the CFPB and conducted by Deloitte Consulting. That report, delivered to the CFPB in September 2013, noted concerns related to the CFPB’s hiring, staff promotions, performance reviews and employee pay since the Bureau’s inception.