The Secret Service has faced multiple accusations of misconduct and inappropriate behavior by its employees in recent years. Earlier this month, the agency again made headlines after two senior agents allegedly drove through an investigative scene at the White House while under the influence. The incident has garnered national attention, sparked new drinking and driving rules for Secret Service employees, and nudged many lawmakers to call for increased accountability and firing of officials within the agency.
An article published in the Washington Examiner on Sunday focuses on the many calls for swift accountability and the problem with rapid firing at civil service agencies after lawmakers expressed discontent with a bureaucratic process.Attorney Debra D’Agostino - a Founding Partner and federal employment law attorney at The Federal Practice Group - offered her insight in the article:
“Congress likes to demand immediate action, but you can’t just make accusations. You have to have the evidence to back it up and I don’t think that’s asking a lot.”
The article goes on to discuss the protections and rights of civil service employees, including their right to due process and the requirement of establishing persuasive evidence for firings. As Attorney D’Agostino cites in the article, this protocol, while not necessarily immediate, allows for fair and accurate decisions.
"There's nothing that an agency doesn't like more than having to fire someone and have that employee walk back through the door – it's just uncomfortable. They want to get it right the first time."
You can read the full article featuring Attorney Debra D’Agostino’s comments here.