Monday, August 28, 2023

Loads of Agents Joined DEA Despite Lying on Polygraph Test, Watchdog Says; DEA Investigated for Hiring Agents Who Failed Lie Detector Tests, Report Says

Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP
Loads of agents joined DEA despite lying on polygraph test, watchdog says:
The Drug Enforcement Administration hired dozens of agents and analysts suspected of lying during their pre-employment polygraph test, the Justice Department’s watchdog said in a report released Wednesday.
The Justice Department Office of Inspector General found at least 77 employees, including 66 special agents and 11 intelligence research specialists, were hired by the agency despite receiving a “significant response” on their lie detector test.
A “significant response” means the applicant indicated deception while answering the same question several times. Applicants are asked a range of questions related to past drug use, serious criminal activity, truthfulness on pre-employment documentation, and national security issues. The polygraph results are used to evaluate a candidate’s character and potential national security risk.
Under DEA policy, an applicant who shows a “significant response” is automatically disqualified from the job and any other position within the agency for three years.
“The DEA unnecessarily assumes the risk that inevitably comes with law enforcement officers potentially unsuitable for this important role, which could include the potential for intentional and unintentional compromise of sensitive DEA operations and jeopardize the public’s trust,” the Inspector General report said.
Concerns over DEA agent suitability come at a difficult time for the agency, which is trying to combat the record level of drugs, including meth and fentanyl, flooding the country, largely through the southern border. This year the DEA has seized 46.4 million fentanyl-laced pills and is on pace to break last year’s record of 58.3 million such pills.
The spike in drugs has prompted the DEA to hire thousands of special agents for positions across the world. Now, the polygraph results raise serious questions. --->READ MORE HERE
Joe Burbank / Associated Press
DEA investigated for hiring agents who failed lie detector tests, report says:
The Drug Enforcement Administration has allowed dozens of job applicants to become special agents and perform other work despite failing a lie detector test during the hiring process, according to a new federal watchdog report, which describes the agency’s polygraph unit as facing pressure to pass “legacy” candidates related to senior officials.
Details of the report, issued Wednesday by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General, were independently verified by The Times based on court documents obtained from a whistleblower case filed by a former member of the DEA polygraph unit.
Beyond special treatment to friends and family members of DEA officials, the whistleblower has said agency bosses ignored admissions of criminal behavior that should have been reported for further investigation, including a case in which a job applicant “admitted to pedophiliac tendencies” during a polygraph exam.
The whistleblower asked not to be identified because of pending litigation and referred questions to their lawyer. They said they alerted supervisors in 2018 after an applicant discussed “pedophilic impulses towards his own daughter and other children.” But they were told “there was nothing that could be done,” and that they “would be liable” for making an anonymous complaint to local law enforcement or social services.
The candidate was not hired, and the matter was eventually reported to the DEA’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which investigates misconduct by employees, documents say.
A DEA spokesperson said the agency “continues to implement best practices in hiring to ensure that all DEA employees uphold the values of our organization, exemplify integrity, and — above all — protect the safety and health of all Americans.”
“Over the past two years, DEA has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to ensuring that all DEA employees are held to the highest standards,” the spokesperson said. “DEA has undergone complete leadership change in the highest positions, updated our hiring policies, and heightened our disciplinary standards.” --->READ MORE HERE
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