HUD IG accuses Cuomo of harassment

HUD IG accuses Cuomo of harassment

HUD officials denied Gaffney's claims. "The inspector general's testimony is riddled with inaccuracies and false statements," said Karen Hinton, acting assistant secretary for public affairs, according to .
amaxwell@govexec.com

Testimony at a Senate Governmental Affairs Committee hearing turned ugly Wednesday as Susan Gaffney, inspector general at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, accused HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo of "harassing and undermining" her.

Cuomo, said Gaffney, has a "hostility" to the concept of an independent IG "not subject to his control."

"Ideally, the relationship between an IG and the agency head is characterized by mutual respect, a common commitment to the agency mission, and a thorough understanding and acceptance of the vastly different roles of the IG and agency head," Gaffney said at the hearing, which marked the 20th anniversary of the Inspector General Act. "Under the present HUD secretary, the situation is somewhat different."

Gaffney alleged that Cuomo and his staff:

  • Told her to undertake an aggressive anti-fraud initiative in only cities with African-American mayors and, when the selections were criticized as racist, said Cuomo had nothing to do with them.
  • Warned her that she would be "humiliated" if she filed a negative report on HUD's 2020 management reform plan.
  • Insisted that the Secretary's office had a right to conduct criminal investigations even though the IG Act gives that authority to inspectors general.
  • Proposed a program that would shield landlords from her investigations.
  • Refused her request for a separate HUD IG personnel office.
  • Exaggerated the results of an internal review of the IG's finances.
  • Hired an outside attorney to investigate complaints of racial discrimination against her.
The Washington Post

Gaffney and Cuomo have had a long-running dispute that Gaffney said stems from a 1995 audit her office conducted of a program under the jurisdiction of then-Assistant Secretary Cuomo. At the time Cuomo heatedly disputed the authority of the IG and strongly objected to what he said was a "lack of accountability" on Gaffney's part.

Committee Chairman Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., acknowledged that IG-Secretary relationships can be stressful and questioned whether the executive branch is providing IGs with adequate support.

"The job of IG isn't easy," Thompson said. "I would expect that most agency heads are not exactly overjoyed to see the IG walk through the door with offers of, 'I'm here to help.' No one likes to hear that their pet policy proposal is going to cost more money than has been advertised."

Health and Human Services Inspector General June Gibbs Brown represented the other side of the spectrum at the hearing. She described her working relationship with Secretary Donna Shalala as "successful."

"Since the first day that I entered the Department of Health and Human Services, Secretary Shalala has made it clear that when policy was formulated at HHS, the Inspector General would always have a seat at the table," she said.

Both Gaffney and Brown expressed support for a bill sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, which would establish 9-year terms of office for IGs, increase their salaries and require external reviews of IG offices every three years.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.