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Friday, April 12, 2024

Another FBI Boss Accused of Sexual Misconduct

'Christman and a female CJIS employee were observed in a state of undress on a Saturday night in the CJIS gymnasium. That female employee has been promoted quickly...'

(Ken Silva, Headline USA) The assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services has been accused by multiple former CJIS employees of sexual misconduct and retaliation, according to the whistleblower-protection group Empower Oversight.

Empower Oversight disclosed the allegations against CJIS Assistant Director Michael Christman in a Monday press release, including a Freedom of Information Act request the group filed with the FBI and Justice Department last week.

According to Empower Oversight, Christman has promoted multiple women with whom he appears to have engaged in inappropriate relationships.

“For instance, former employees have reported to Empower Oversight that AD Christman and a female CJIS employee were observed in a state of undress on a Saturday night in the CJIS gymnasium. That female employee has been promoted quickly,” Empower Oversight said in its FOIA request.

“Further, during an all-employee conference, AD Christman reportedly claimed to have nightly phone calls with a female employee who did not report directly to him. This employee was given three awards in a short period of time, with monetary compensation totaling an estimated $15,000.”

Empower Oversight added that Christman retaliated against those who challenged him on his behavior. Christman allegedly moved employees into temporary positions for “cross-training” as a means to retaliate.

Along with the sexual-misconduct allegations, Empower Oversight questioned whether Christman should be working for the FBI due to his age. Christman started with the FBI in 1992, putting him close to retirement mandates for agents older than 56 with more than 20 years of experience.

“Furthermore, it has been alleged that AD Christman was allowed to retire but continue acting in his position as a contractor,” Empower Oversight added. “If true, this raises the issue of whether the FBI is paying AD Christman for a contract while he collects a federal retirement.”

Christman didn’t immediately respond to a LinkedIn message from this reporter seeking comment on the allegations.

A Culture of Misconduct at the FBI

Christman is just the latest top FBI official to be accused of sexual misconduct. Headline USA reported in January that former associate deputy director Jeffrey Sallet allegedly retired from the bureau in late 2021 due to sexual-misconduct allegations.

Reports from the DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General in recent years suggest that the FBI has a widespread culture of sexual misconduct.

According to a 2020 Associated Press article entitled, ‘Under the rug:’ Sexual misconduct shakes FBI’s senior ranks, the last time the OIG did an extensive probe of sexual misconduct within the FBI, it tallied 343 “offenses” from fiscal years 2009 to 2012, including three instances of “videotaping undressed women without consent.”

That AP investigation identified at least six sexual misconduct allegations involving senior FBI officials over the past five years, including two new claims brought by women who say they were sexually assaulted by ranking agents.

“Each of the accused FBI officials appears to have avoided discipline, the AP found, and several were quietly transferred or retired, keeping their full pensions and benefits even when probes substantiated the sexual misconduct claims against them,” the AP reported in December 2020.

A year after the December 2020 AP investigation, a December 2021 OIG report found that four FBI officials had sex with prostitutes while posted overseas, while a fifth also tried to do so—and all but one “lacked candor” about it during interviews and lie-detector test.

According to that December 2021 report, two FBI officials resigned, two retired, and one was removed—all while the OIG’s investigation was ongoing.

The OIG’s December 2021 report said it referred the findings to the FBI for “appropriate action,” but nothing public has been revealed about the matter since then.

More recently, the OIG revealed in October that a senior FBI official had solicited prostitutes from a foreign national’s massage parlor while he was still working for the bureau. Like the others, that official retired while the OIG’s investigation was still ongoing. The DOJ declined to prosecute that official, according to the OIG.

And in January, the OIG reported that a former Acting Deputy Assistant Director harassed a subordinate and made inappropriate sexual and religious jokes in the workplace. That report didn’t state whether the FBI official retired or is still at the bureau.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

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