Grassley Calls for Answers on ‘Racist Behavior’ at Justice Dept

Thursday, 14 Mar 2013 02:12 PM

By Kenneth Hanner

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Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa says he wants explanations from the Justice Department after an inspector’s general report found “hostile, racist and inappropriate” behavior by officials within the agency’s Civil Rights Division.

Grassley said he wants to know why employees found to have misbehaved stillhave a job, The Washington Times reported.

The report from Inspector General Michael Horowitz stemmed from the Civil Rights Division dropping a complaint of voter harassment against the New Black Panther Party and the subsequent charges that the move was racially motivated.

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The report, released earlier this week, is critical of the atmosphere in the Voting Rights section of the division, which is headed by Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, who is expected to be nominated by President Barack Obama to head the Labor Department.

Grassley said the report affirms his belief that there is “an inherent culture of harassment against conservatives in the Civil Rights Division,” The Times reported.

The report said the Voting Rights section was polarized over the issue of whether laws enacted to protect minorities should be used when whites are faced with improper voting procedures.

Divisions over the issue prompted some career employees to send hostile andmocking emails to their fellow workers on the other side of the voting rights interpretation, the report said.

“Future hiring within the Civil Rights Division needs to value intellectual diversity to put to rest any perception that employment is based on politics,” Grassley said.

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