The FBI is having such a problem with employees using their agency-issued phones for sexting during work hours – as well as other inappropriate behavior – that the bureau sent out an agency-wide email encouraging workers to steer clear “of ethical pitfalls and other violations.”
The email, obtained by CNN, includes a laundry list of both criminal behavior and ethical lapses made by FBI employees – from domestic violence and DUI to sexting and patronizing a massage parlor for sexual services.
While it should be clear that sexting on an FBI-issued phone and having a relationship with a “known drug dealer” is off limits for FBI employees, the rash of sexting and other inappropriate behavior led the bureau to send out the all-employee e-mail in October. The FBI sends out reports each quarter to its workers.
"We're hoping (that) getting the message out in the quarterlies is going to teach people, as well as their supervisors ... you can't do this stuff," Candice Will, the FBI’s assistant director for the Office of Professional Responsibility, told CNN. “"When you are given an FBI BlackBerry, it's for official use. It's not to text the woman in another office who you found attractive or to send a picture of yourself in a state of undress. That is not why we provide you an FBI BlackBerry."
“Set forth below are examples of cases adjudicated by the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) during the last quarter,” Will wrote in the e-mail. “OPR sends these QuarterIy E-Mails to educate employees about the Bureaus standards of conduct and to aid employees in steering clear of ethical pitfalls and other violations.”
The report did not identify the transgressors by name. Discipline ranged from suspensions – 10 days, in the case of a woman who sexted nude pictures of herself to other FBI employees – to firings, as in the woman who was in a relationship with a drug dealer.
The FBI worker who patronized a massage parlor and paid for sex was suspended for 14 days, while an employee who sent sexually explicit texts to a colleague received a five-day suspension.
Will said the behavior by FBI employees listed in the report came as a shock to the bureau, whose motto is “fidelity, bravery, integrity.”
"As long I've been doing this ... there are days when I think 'OK, I've seen it all,' but I really haven't," she told CNN. "I still get files and I think, 'Wow, I never would have thought of that.'"
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