Charles K. Edwards was the acting inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security from 2011 to 2013, but he wasn’t exactly doing the job he was hired to do. Instead of acting as a watchdog over the agency, he was busy getting friendly with officials and altering reports that made DHS look bad. At the time he was hoping for promotion to the top spot after Janet Napolitano retired.
Edwards’s misdeeds weren’t discovered until after a bipartisan Senate investigation began. Instead of getting fired, Edwards was just reassigned to another agency, so he’s still on the federal payroll, according to the Washington Post.
Edwards’s actions occurred while he was seeking President Obama’s nomination to be the permanent inspector general overseeing DHS, the third-largest government agency, with a $39 billion budget and more than 225,000 employees.
“We found that Mr. Edwards was a compromised inspector general . . . who was not exercising real oversight,” said Sen. Ronald H. Johnson (Wis.), the ranking Republican on the subcommittee on financial and contracting oversight, which led the investigation of Edwards’s tenure. “Any report generated out of his office would be suspect.”
Edwards declined to comment through a department spokesperson.
Edwards, a 20-year federal career employee with expertise in computer engineering, resigned his office in December, three days before he was scheduled to appear at a Senate hearing to answer questions. DHS granted his request to be transferred into its office of science and technology, and the hearing was canceled.