Corruption, Incompetence Scandal at DOJ's Ferguson Unit Widens

On April 12, PJ Media Legal Editor J. Christian Adams reported that DOJ sources had revealed how two top employees in the Justice Department’s Community Relations Service (CRS) used taxpayer money for personal travel. The DOJ sources also revealed how these two top employees were responsible for a culture of incompetence, political decision-making, and gross mismanagement.

Here, we reveal that those same sources told Adams and me about corruption by other CRS managers, and about a hostile work environment that includes bullying and discrimination -- particularly against anyone who complains about the waste, fraud, and abuse.

Click here to read the letter employees sent to Attorney General Loretta Lynch -- back in January -- notifying her of the situation. Three months have passed since this letter was delivered, but neither the Justice Department’s inspector general nor Loretta Lynch has done anything about it, per the sources.

As its webpage says, CRS is supposed to be the Justice Department’s ”peacemaker” for community conflicts and tensions. But from the atmosphere described to us, it sounds like CRS needs its own peacemaker to clean up what appears to be one of the most dysfunctional offices within the entire Justice Department.

This is the same CRS that has violated its own stated mission to calm the waters in local communities. Instead, it has tried to ramp up hostility and violence in tense situations.

During the Trayvon Martin case in Florida, CRS helped to organize rallies and protests against George Zimmerman.

CRS did the same thing in Ferguson, pouring gasoline on the flames of protests, violence, and looting. This included training demonstrators on how to protest and spreading the word that what had happened was racially motivated -- which the grand jury investigation concluded was completely untrue.

One observer said the CRS basically put “a keg of dynamite in the middle of Ferguson” and lit the fuse. A source inside DOJ confirmed that CRS was stirring things up instead of trying to calm things down.

In addition to the information from Adams’ article about Thomas Battles and Synthia Taylor, two regional directors of CRS, our sources exposed misbehavior by several other directors, including hiring individuals with no experience or background in dispute resolution. Taylor, by the way, has had complaints filed against her by most of her employees, our sources related.