FBI Agent in Stevens Investigation “Severely Disciplined,” Director Tells Murkowski
Senator Continues to Pursue Answers, Accountability for Alaska
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski today pushed the Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James B. Comey, Jr. for answers about the agency’s investigation into improper and unethical activities by FBI agents that overshadowed the fraud-laden federal investigation of Senator Ted Stevens. Years after the Stevens verdict was thrown out of court by Attorney General Eric Holder, Murkowski is still seeking closure for Alaskans upset at the lack of information surrounding the efforts that have been made to ensure that reforms are made.
In her questions to director Comey during the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, Murkowski contended that she has been asking the FBI for years about the outcome of the investigation, and no information has been provided about its status or what punishments were meted out. “My question is whether this investigation has concluded. If so, what was the outcome and what corrective actions have been taken?”
(Senator Murkowski asks FBI Director
James Comey, Jr. about punishments for unethical agents)
Director Comey said that the FBI’s internal investigation had concluded, and that they had “identified an agent who engaged in improper conduct there and the agent was severely disciplined. The discipline has been imposed and on top of that we have pushed out refresher training to the entire work force especially about our discovery obligations and how we expect them to conduct themselves during those investigations.”
With Comey not able to provide any further information, Murkowski then asked him to provide her the written account of the internal disciplinary investigation.
The hearing wrapped up with Murkowski asking Comey about the FBI’s policy towards whistleblowers, and seeking recognition for Agent Chad Joy. No longer with the FBI, Chad Joy was responsible for calling attention to the unethical work being conducted by
the agents on the Stevens investigation. “As you are looking to this issues- if you might look into this specific situation and if you did right by him. Not only are whistle blowers not rewarded but there are negative consequences at the end and I think this is something we need to certainly be aware of.”
Director Comey went on to agree with Murkowski about whistleblower policies calling them “essential to a healthy institution.”