DEA Agents Received Bonuses During 'Sex Parties' Investigation

One agent who allegedly assaulted a prostitute was given a $1,500 bonus.

WASHINGTON -- Several employees at the Drug Enforcement Administration received bonuses while they were under investigation in connection with sexual misconduct, according to a report from the Justice Department's inspector general released Thursday.

One DEA agent was ultimately suspended for 14 days after he allegedly hosted prostitutes on a regular basis in his government-leased quarters and allegedly assaulted a prostitute. Yet he received a $1,500 bonus while he was under investigation, according to the report. That agent is "currently assigned to another DEA office in the United States," the report says.

An assistant regional director stationed overseas allegedly "made numerous inappropriate sexual comments; asked [an assistant] to watch pornographic movies; and, among other allegations, routinely threw items, yelled at employees, and used other vulgarities in the office and at official functions," and ultimately received a letter of reprimand. He received a $5,000 bonus just before he was issued that reprimand. 

Five of 10 individuals who came under investigation starting in 2010 for soliciting prostitutes abroad between 2001 and 2004 received bonuses or time off during that investigation, according to the inspector general's report.

A separate report on the DEA's handling of the "sex party" allegations was released in March, garnering significant attention from the media and members of Congress. Then-DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart was grilled by Congress over how her agency handled those allegations, and she resigned in May. 

DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart left office not long after a report on alleged "sex parties" came out.
DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart left office not long after a report on alleged "sex parties" came out.

According to the latest report, a DEA supervisor who was eventually suspended for three days received a $2,500 bonus in 2012 over the objections of the acting chief inspector. Another supervisor who ultimately received a letter of caution was given a $8,400 bonus as the matter was being investigated. Yet another supervisor who ultimately received an eight-day suspension got a $2,000 bonus.

The review found that "the DEA did not consistently follow its policy or process and failed to document the rationale for its decisions" to reward employees who committed "significant misconduct" or were the subject of ongoing investigations.