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Warren Questions Trump on Replacement of Dept. of Education Acting Inspector General

Saturday, February 02, 2019

 

Elizabeth Warren

United States Senator Elizabeth Warren is questioning the White House on the “Sudden Replacement” of the Department of Education Acting Inspector General.

This comes after the Education Department's Acting Inspector General Sandra Bruce was replaced less than two months into her tenure.

In a letter to President Donald Trump, Warren wrote, “The decision to replace Ms. Bruce without explanation, and with a senior agency official who appears to be still serving in that capacity, is troubling because it is vital that the work of the OIG remain uninterrupted and that the IG operate independently from the White House and from Department leadership. I urge you to immediately address this matter and to ensure that the Office of Inspector General is able to continue operating in an effective and independent fashion."

The Letter

According to a report in Politico, which has since been confirmed by Department officials, Bruce was told on January 30, 2019, that she will be replaced as Acting Inspector General by Philip Rosenfelt, the Department's deputy general counsel. 

According to Department officials, Rosenfelt appears to also still be serving as deputy general counsel.

In her letter to President Trump, Senator Warren expressed concern with the timing of Bruce's removal and its potential to impact ongoing investigations and audits into several important department actions.

In November of 2018, for example, the OIG announced its review of discrimination complaints the Department dismissed under Secretary DeVos.

The Senator also noted in her letter that the President has yet to nominate a permanent inspector general since Katherine Tighe retired in November 2018. 

Warren urged the President to do so as soon as possible.

Senator Warren's letter follows her introduction of the Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act, a comprehensive bill that, among other ambitious measures, would insulate agency inspectors general from political influence and meddling.

 

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