Over at the ATF they have a bit of an accounting problem with the paychecks and Iowa Senator Charles Grassley is calling them out for it. One of their insiders blew the whistle and found out what a huge mistake that was. Contrary to what he was told at a special meeting, that “whistleblowers won’t be retaliated against,” he was retaliated against.
ATF attacks informant
There was a big blowup at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when they got a recent nastygram from Chuck Grassley.
It seems that the ATF is under heavy fire from “multiple agencies.” Their clerical workers have been collecting hazardous duty pay for filing and typing.
The ATF stands accused of improperly misclassifying “nearly 100 administrative positions as related to law enforcement activities.”
When someone who wasn’t getting a similar cut of the ill-gotten goods became miffed about it and ratted them out, they “allegedly retaliated.”
Senator Grassley got out his poison pen and mailed copies of his displeasure to the ATF, Justice Department, and Office of Personnel Management.
The OPM had already yanked the bureau’s privilege to do their own classifications back in November 2020, when an internal audit “found 94 employees performing ‘exclusively administrative duties’ were improperly classified to the General Schedule’s law enforcement family of jobs.” They hushed it up.
Rats guarding the cheese
The thing that has the Iowa senator so steamed is the way the Justice Department seems to be in charge of investigating itself again.
They’re likely to conclude that their underlings in the ATF didn’t do anything actually wrong and won’t even slap themselves on the wrist for it. Grassley wants them to know he’s looking over their shoulder.
Senator Grassley quoted a letter signed by Mark Lambert, OPM associate director for merit system accountability and compliance. “These individuals were assigned to and performing administrative duties, exclusively and, thus, their positions should have been classified to non-law enforcement occupational series, including human resources, public affairs and other administrative job families.”
Lambert went on to note, “OPM will be referring ATF to the Office of Special Counsel for investigation of prohibited personnel practices.”
ATF agents who kick the doors down don’t have set hours. They’re basically on call 24/7 to drop everything and put their lives on the line at a moment’s notice. File clerks are getting the same pay and retirement benefits. That’s not even close to fair. Grassley was not happy that they fired the informant.
“This situation seems particularly egregious in that the whistleblower in question apparently came forward at ATF after attending a larger meeting where whistleblowing was praised and even featured a previous whistleblower.” The idea is to “celebrate whistleblowers, and not just seek to appear to celebrate whistleblowers, as the case appears in this instance.”