News & U.S. Politics

‘Not Resign, Fired!’: GOP Rep Unloads On FDIC Chairman Over ‘Workplace Misconduct’ Under His Reign

Republican Missouri Rep. Ann Wagner criticized Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg during a Wednesday hearing for his conduct while leading the agency.

The FDIC’s workplace culture is stricken by inappropriate behaviors like “sexual harassment, discrimination, and other interpersonal misconduct,” according to a recent report by law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. Gruenberg has a reputation for possessing a temper, based on employees’ examples in the report, and Wagner told the chairman he should be fired. (RELATED: ‘We’ve Got Some Cleanup To Do’: Former FDIC Chair Says There Will ‘Probably’ Be More Bank Failures)

“Chairman Gruenberg, you have been at the FDIC for 19 years, leading it mostly for 10 of those years,” Wagner said. “During that time, you apparently never once took it upon yourself to look into the toxic workplace that you’re leading, as until The Wall Street Journal published articles detailing your ill temper and inappropriate behavior towards FDIC employees. After your reputation was put at risk, then, and only then, did you decide to work on getting your house in order, sir. In this report, five hundred, north of five hundred employees came forward with complaints of sexual harassment, discrimination and other worth workplace misconduct. This is a massive number and it’s only scratching the surface.”

WATCH:

Nearly one-in-ten employees at the FDIC reported workplace misconduct to the law firm’s tip line during its investigation of the agency. The incidents “did not occur in a vacuum” and resulted from a “misogynistic,” “patriarchal,” “insular” and “outdated” workplace, according to the report.

“Your employees have lost confidence in you, sir, I have lost confidence in you and Congress has lost confidence in you,” Wagner continued. “You, sir, should be fired. Not resign, fired!”

Police responded to a rape report at an FDIC-owned hotel in 2017, according to police records obtained by conservative watchdog American Accountability Foundation and shared exclusively with the Daily Caller News Foundation. FDIC employees used the 11-story hotel in Arlington, Virginia, as a hub for partying, The Wall Street Journal reported in November.

Republican Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy pressed Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su during a recent hearing about what she would do based on the report’s findings, but she did not commit to taking any action to mitigate the alleged issues.

“Senator, I am deeply concerned any time a working person goes to work and does not get the dignity and respect that they deserve,” Su said. “I am charged with enforcing certain laws based on the powers that Congress has given to the Department of Labor. I appreciate that you are raising an issue involving working people who have experienced clearly horrific sexual harassment, and other kinds of abuse, and what it demonstrates is that too often, workers may feel like they have to endure things that no one should have to endure because of a power imbalance in the workplace.”

“There’s an agency in the federal government who, presumably if the complaint has been made, will be investigating it,” she said in response to a follow-up from Kennedy.

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