HUD inspector general files complaint against Cuomo

Department of Housing and Urban Development Inspector General Susan Gaffney has filed a sexual discrimination complaint against Secretary Andrew Cuomo and other HUD officials, claiming that she has been subjected to a hostile work environment at the agency for the last three years.

In an Oct. 13 memorandum addressed to Deputy Secretary Saul N. Ramirez Jr., Gaffney accused Cuomo, Ramirez and other top HUD officials of harassing her and discriminating against her on the basis of gender.

Gaffney alleged that Cuomo called her frequently to discourage her from publicly criticizing certain HUD programs and that senior officials repeatedly leaked disparaging information about her to the press, interfering with the activities of the Office of Inspector General, and attempting to get her to resign.

A HUD official denied all of Gaffney's allegations and said it was "absolutely false" that officials were trying to get Gaffney to resign.

The memo also serves as Gaffney's official discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In the complaint, Gaffney asked for written apologies from Cuomo, Ramirez and their subordinates.

This incident is the latest in a series of disputes between Gaffney and Cuomo. Last year, top HUD officials claimed Gaffney's criticism of the department's Community Builders program was intended to support looming GOP budget cuts. In 1998, during a Senate Governmental Affairs hearing, Gaffney accused Cuomo of "harassing and undermining" her-allegations which HUD officials denied.

In April of this year, Gaffney asked the General Accounting Office's Comptroller General to look into illegal lobbying on the part of Cuomo's office. The Comptroller General found those allegations unwarranted.

HUD spokeswoman Lisa MacSpadden questioned the timing of Gaffney's complaint. In September, top officials in the agency's inspector general's office came under fire for allegedly downloading pornographic material from government computers. An outside investigation by the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency (PCIE) was conducted, and disciplinary action was taken against the staff members in question.

Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., a member of the House Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans' Affairs and International Relations, asked Cuomo in a Sept. 7 letter to look into the IG's office conduct throughout the investigation and make sure the office handled it properly.

Gaffney did not inform Cuomo or Ramirez of the investigation.

"The IG's complaint is a result of our efforts to respond to a directive from Rep. Tom Lantos demanding an investigation into the downloading and circulation of pornography by senior officials in the IG's office. The IG had previously threatened to retaliate if we investigated her staff's use of pornography," said MacSpadden in a statement.

A HUD source familiar with the situation said the IG's office handled the matter professionally, and was under no obligation to inform Cuomo or other officials about the investigation by the PCIE.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.