Press Releases

Financial Services Committee To Hold Markup, Will Hear From CFPB Director Cordray in Ongoing Probe of Discrimination

Washington, July 25, 2014 - House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) today announced the committee’s schedule for the week of July 28th.

Tuesday, July 29th at 10:00 A.M.- A Full Committee markup of six bills, including legislation that will bring much needed transparency and accountability to the Federal Reserve and provide regulatory red-tape relief to community financial institutions.

A full list of the bills can be found here.

Wednesday, July 30th at 3:30 P.M. – As part of the committee’s ongoing investigation into allegations of discrimination and retaliation at the CFPB, the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee will receive testimony from CFPB Director Richard Cordray.

The Subcommittee has held three hearings as part of its investigation of the CFPB.

April 2: CFPB attorney and whistleblower Angela Martin testified about the CFPB’s “pervasive culture of retaliation and intimidation,” saying she and her colleagues “have suffered and are suffering at the hands of inexperienced, unaccountable managers.” Martin also testified that after she filed an Equal Employment Opportunity complaint, Cordray “called me at night and told me that I have to tell my attorneys to back down.”

At this 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.

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 this same hearing, the Subcommittee reviewed 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.

June 18: CFPB Examiner Ali Naraghi testified that he was the victim of a repeated reprehensible ethnic slur and that “favoritism and cronyism runs rampant at the Bureau.” Naraghi further testified that “the culture of intimidation and retaliation” at the CFPB “makes it very difficult for employees to raise concerns about mistreatment, mismanagement and abuse of authority.”

Also on June 18, Kevin Williams, a former CFPB employee, testified: “The frequency and duration of these occurrences, speaking of discrimination, created a hostile work environment for all blacks at the Bureau whether they were unwitting manipulated black managers or mistreated hard-working black employees.”

Both Martin and Williams also testified that one division in the CFPB’s consumer response division that is mostly staffed by African-American employees is internally referred to as “the plantation.”

“African-Americans tell me that it’s extremely hard to leave the plantation,” Martin said, because those employees do not have the same opportunity as white employees to be promoted at the CFPB.

“Rather than allow the plantation workers to compete for vacant leadership positions, my managers hired two white males to oversee us,” Williams testified. “If you were a black employee on the plantation, you were either a team lead or in the field. Not one team lead from my unit was ever promoted to a manager.”


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