Rep. Richmond Statement on the Passing of the Inspector General Access Act
Washington, D.C. –Today, Congressman Cedric Richmond (LA-02) issued a statement on House passage of H.R. 3154, a bill he introduced, the “Inspector General Access Act of 2017”. The Inspector General Access Act will foster greater accountability and transparency within the Department of Justice (DOJ) by granting the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the DOJ the authority to investigate alleged misconduct committed by DOJ attorneys when they act in their capacity as lawyers.
“The passage of the Inspector General Access Act is a step forward in true justice and accountability not only within the Department of Justice, but also for the American people,” said Rep. Richmond. “The DOJ’s own Office of Professional Responsibility reported over 650 infractions from 2002 through 2013, including constitutional and civil rights violations, abuse of investigative authority, and federal attorneys intentionally misleading courts. This legislation seeks to prevent these actions from happening again in the future and to lead to a more transparent way forward.”
“Working for the Department of Justice is an honor and valuable service. Its lawyers and other employees should be held to a standard of excellence that exemplifies values of fairness, honesty, and efficiency in upholding the federal legal process. The Inspector General Access Act will help ensure that the DOJ meets that standard. I am proud to have introduced this important legislation.”
After New Orleans police officers killed two innocent civilians and injured four more at the Danziger Bridge in 2005, their convictions were thrown out because of prosecutorial misconduct. The report released by the Department of Justice was heavily redacted and missing crucial facts. In situations like these, only an investigation by OIG can provide the transparency to hold prosecutors to the highest standard and ensure that their mistakes do not deny justice to the families of the victims.