When the Watchdogs Need Watching

A cyber-security analyst works at a watch and warning center of the Department of Homeland Security. / JIM URQUHART/REUTERS

It’s never a good thing when the watchdogs within a government agency are themselves accused of corruption.

But that’s exactly what’s alleged to have happened at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Numerous corruption investigations are now being re-examined “amid reports that some internal watchdog agents falsified records at a Texas field office,” the Center for Investigative Reporting reports.

According to CIR, “three inspector general employees, including the agency’s top investigator, have been placed on administrative leave pending the conclusion of the investigation” into the McAllen, Texas office.

Now, federal officials will potentially take a fresh look at “more than 80 criminal misconduct investigations” to see whether the IG office “may have fabricated ‘investigative activity’ to show progress on misconduct cases involving homeland security employees.”

Sweep to Homeland security corruption probes to be reviewed

The Canadian province of Quebec is being shaken by what appears to be a wave of corruption-related arrests and prosecutions on the horizon.

As the Canadian Press reports, Quebec’s anti-corruption czar – Robert Lafreniere – said Thursday “that his provincial anti-corruption squad currently has 17 separate investigations underway,” and suggested that “this week’s crackdown in a small city near Montreal is just the tip of the iceberg and could lead to more arrests.”

The bust this week resulted in the arrest of 14 people in an “alleged scheme involving kickbacks and bribes in exchange for advantages in the awarding of public-works contracts.”

Sweep to Quebec anti-corruption czar hints more arrests coming

A former Verizon worker in the Atlanta area has been arrested and faces fraud charges for allegedly trying to trick the company into paying for bogus charity work.

As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, Sheneka Humphrey “tried to get Verizon to provide $9,000 for charity work Humphrey said Verizon employees had completed for her foundation.”

Verizon has a program for employees that donates “up to $750 per employee” to a charity if that person works a certain amount of time for such a charity.  According to the AJC, Humphrey claimed 11 Verizon workers had donated their time to her charity, A Place of Motherly Love, and tried to collect the incentive payments. The problem?  The work never happened.

The 11 workers involved have since been fired, and Humphrey faces a felony charge.

Sweep to Ex-Verizon worker arrested in alleged charity fraud

Diana Jean Schemo

Diana Jean Schemo

Diana Jean Schemo is president and executive editor of 100Reporters, and the founder and co-director of the Double Exposure Film Festival and Symposium, the United States' only investigative film festival.