CNN – U.S. Customs and Border Protection have determined that 60 CBP officers “have engaged in wrongdoing and been disciplined” during a review of controversial Facebook posts, according to a new report from the Congress, but many have received only slight final sanctions from the agency and remain in their posts.
The agency has conducted 135 investigations into staff affiliated with a controversial Facebook group called “I’m 10-15,” which allegedly contained vulgar and offensive messages, and other similar groups, according to the House Oversight Committee report. The “I’m 10-15” group had more than 9,500 members, according to the report.
The 60 employees convicted of misconduct violated CBP standards of conduct, including posting offensive and threatening content and “disclosing information about the agency without authorization.” Of these, 43 people were suspended without pay.
Only two employees were made redundant.
Border Patrol agent who posted “sexually explicit faked image and derogatory comments about congressman” suspended for 60 days, instead of fired, and paid back wages, report says .
“I am deeply disturbed by the broken disciplinary process of CBP which has allowed significant reductions in discipline and allowed officers to return to work with migrants and children after committing serious misconduct,” said the President of House Oversight New York Democrat Carolyn Maloney in a statement. “CBP’s failure to prevent these violent and offensive statements from its own agents or to impose adequate discipline creates a serious risk that this behavior will continue.”
This is the latest set of findings published in reports of CBP employees posting offensive content to private Facebook groups. In May, the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security also released a report finding that CBP employees violated policies by posting on social media platforms, and recommended that the CBP commissioner ensure enforcement. uniform social media policies and establish social media awareness training.
Agents viewed the “I’m 10-15” Facebook group as an outlet “for rising tensions and low morale” within the agency, according to the report.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNN.
Despite the CBP Discipline Review Board’s proposal to remove 24 officers, CBP removed only two employees, including one officer who posted “offensive images of a white and right-wing supremacist symbol and images. sexualized from a congressman, ”although a final decision is still pending arbitration, according to the report.
The House Oversight Committee requested documents from CBP in July 2019 to assess whether appropriate disciplinary action had been taken, but the committee said it only began receiving “complete, unredacted documents” in February 2021.
Facebook refused to provide the CBP Professional Liability Office with the contents of the secret Facebook group, limiting the agency’s internal investigation, according to Monday’s report.
The committee recommended that CBP leaders put in place stronger reporting mechanisms and strengthen social media training.
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