Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz announced today the release of a Management Advisory Memorandum to the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) regarding potential conflicts of interest and related appearance issues when the FBI delegates the responsibility for Internal Affairs Investigations (IAI) of FBI personnel to FBI employees who have professional relationships or friendships with the subject or witnesses of the IAI.
The OIG identified these concerns in connection with an OIG investigation, during which the OIG learned that an IAI had been delegated to an FBI Supervisory Special Agent who was in the same Headquarters Division as both the subject and a witness; was a colleague of similar seniority to the subject; and considered the witness, who was involved in a romantic relationship with the subject, to be a mentor and friend. The OIG determined that these circumstances created the risk of a conflict of interest.
Moreover, the OIG determined that delegated IAIs present potential conflicts of interest and appearance issues when they are conducted by FBI employees within the same division or field office in which the subject of the IAI is employed. The OIG determined that potential conflicts of interest and appearance issues are similarly presented when an IAI is conducted by an FBI employee who currently has or previously had a professional relationship or friendship with the subject of the IAI or witnesses who may be interviewed in connection with the IAI.
The DOJ OIG made one recommendation to the FBI to address the concerns we identified. The FBI agreed with the recommendation and already drafted a Standard Operating Procedure to address it.