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Interior Dept. disciplined 1,500 employees for misconduct

The Interior Department disciplined 1,500 employees in 2017 and 2018 for misconduct, according to an interna...

Posted: Oct 12, 2018 4:59 AM
Updated: Oct 12, 2018 4:59 AM

The Interior Department disciplined 1,500 employees in 2017 and 2018 for misconduct, according to an internal email obtained by CNN.

The employees, both full-time staff and probationary appointees, have either been removed, reprimanded or suspended, according to the email sent by Interior Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt.

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Misconduct

National Park Service

Sex crimes

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US Department of the Interior

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Bernhardt provided the update to follow up on Secretary Ryan Zinke's promise to crack down on what the department called "the widespread and pervasive culture of harassment and discrimination" in a news release last year. The initial effort focused on harassment in the National Park Service, but since then, the department has taken steps to combat harassment throughout the department. The 1,500 employees come from all parts of the department as well.

The Hill first reported the numbers.

Zinke announced plans to combat harassment in the National Park Service last October, a week after The New York Times published the first story detailing allegations of sexual assault and harassment from Harvey Weinstein, igniting the national #MeToo movement.

A National Park Service Work Environment Survey from 2017 found that 10.4% of service employees had experienced sexual harassment, and 38.7% employees reported experiencing some form of harassment in the past year alone, according to the initial release.

National Park Service Acting Director Paul Daniel Smith apologized to employees in an email in June for behaving "in an inappropriate manner in a public hallway" but defended his actions from allegations of harassment. After an employee complained that Smith had grabbed his genitals and made a gesture in front of other employees in a NPS hallway, according to a Washington Post report, an inspector general investigation was opened.

Since last year, the department has implemented several measures to actively combat harassment in the agency, according to the email.

In April, the department adopted its first policy regarding harassment at all levels in the workplace. The policy sets standards for what kind of conduct is prohibited in the workplace and clarifies workers' rights, according to the internal email. It also established a reporting procedure for these kinds of complaints.

While these efforts are designed to help prevent harassment, Bernhardt stressed that individual employees still need to come forward for the agency to eliminate harassment.

"We can only take action when we are aware of misconduct or unethical behavior. For this to happen, employees have to be willing to come forward," Bernhardt said in the email. "I want you to know that your leadership is listening."

An Interior Department spokeswoman had no additional comment when reached by CNN.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 261167

Reported Deaths: 5713
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17561191
Hinds16687329
Harrison14050202
Rankin11102217
Jackson10729188
Lee9014143
Madison8495168
Jones6607114
Forrest6135122
Lauderdale6067192
Lowndes5490120
Lafayette511794
Lamar499865
Washington4904125
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Pontotoc374757
Monroe3651106
Warren3649103
Union353263
Marshall352069
Neshoba3464154
Pearl River3422105
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Lincoln304287
Sunflower290373
Hancock288461
Tate279062
Alcorn270754
Pike268180
Itawamba266662
Scott256048
Yazoo253756
Prentiss251153
Copiah247649
Tippah247550
Coahoma245954
Simpson241471
Leake236167
Grenada222471
Marion220273
Covington219072
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Wayne208432
Winston205870
George203539
Newton197346
Attala196461
Tishomingo193861
Chickasaw188444
Jasper177838
Holmes171368
Clay164237
Tallahatchie155635
Stone149525
Clarke144762
Calhoun139922
Smith127725
Yalobusha121134
Walthall114037
Greene112929
Noxubee112225
Montgomery111236
Carroll106422
Lawrence105617
Perry104031
Amite100826
Webster95424
Tunica88221
Claiborne87825
Jefferson Davis87727
Benton84823
Humphreys84224
Kemper80020
Quitman7049
Franklin69617
Choctaw62513
Wilkinson59625
Jefferson56520
Sharkey44817
Issaquena1606
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 436087

Reported Deaths: 6486
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63969994
Mobile31211565
Madison27851208
Tuscaloosa21233271
Montgomery19698326
Shelby19093130
Baldwin16981188
Lee13036105
Morgan12526134
Etowah11987179
Calhoun11441206
Marshall10357123
Houston8886158
Limestone827876
Cullman8203108
Elmore8120104
DeKalb7828103
Lauderdale7798103
St. Clair7763125
Talladega6394111
Walker6002177
Jackson594644
Colbert545276
Blount543986
Autauga532761
Coffee456762
Dale406883
Franklin372448
Russell349212
Chilton342873
Covington336068
Escambia330144
Dallas312096
Tallapoosa3120107
Chambers301170
Clarke293336
Pike261131
Marion251558
Lawrence250752
Winston232742
Bibb221248
Geneva208746
Marengo206529
Pickens199031
Hale182742
Barbour179337
Fayette177029
Butler172459
Cherokee164330
Henry158224
Monroe151320
Randolph144336
Washington140127
Clay129146
Crenshaw122944
Macon120937
Cleburne120724
Lamar119721
Lowndes113736
Wilcox106622
Bullock102228
Perry99118
Conecuh96821
Sumter90026
Greene76823
Coosa63215
Choctaw51724
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