Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) have opened separate inquiries into whether a Treasury Department unit charged with policing money laundering may have violated federal hiring rules.
Both congressmen said the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) might have violated rules that require military veterans to be given preference for government jobs, Reuters reported Tuesday.
In a letter to FinCEN Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery, Issa said the House Oversight Panel that he chairs also learned that senior Treasury officials may have known about the practice.
Grassley, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is separately looking into FinCEN’s hiring practices. He said he will oppose the nomination of Nani Coloretti, a senior Treasury official, to be the deputy secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, until his questions are answered.
Federal regulations require military veterans to be given preference for jobs in the government if they’re qualified.
Spokespersons from FinCEN and Treasury said they will respond to both congressmen as appropriate.
“The fact that FinCEN allegedly rejected pools of candidates made up of qualified veterans who met the criteria listed in the initial job postings effectively amounts to discrimination,” Issa wrote in the letter.
Reuters reported last month that the Treasury Department temporarily suspended FinCEN’s hiring authority and forced it to rescind 11 job offers. A federal government labor watchdog had determined that FinCEN illegally screened candidates, offering positions only to lawyers, even though those positions did not require a law degree.
FinCEN’s websiste says its mission is to “combat money laundering and promote national security through the collection, analysis and dissemination of financial intelligence and strategic use of financial authorities.”
Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.