According to The Washington Post, the former head of human resources at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Corey Coleman, is now under investigation over accusations of sexual misconduct and harassment.
Coleman, who resigned only weeks ago, allegedly traded sex for jobs at the agency and engaged in inappropriate relationships with his employees. According to FEMA administrator William “Brock” Long, Coleman’s alleged misconduct was a “systemic problem going on for years.” Long noted that beginning in 2015, Coleman pressured newly hired female employees, whom he often met on dating apps, to have sex with his male co-workers and subordinates.
After a seven-month preliminary investigation into Coleman’s personal misconduct and potentially criminal behavior, FEMA officials reported and confirmed that Coleman engaged in sexual relationships with at least two different women between the years 2015 and 2017, whom he often took with him on work trips. One of the women told investigators that Coleman tried to first demote her and then fire her when she decided to end the relationship, revealing that she only managed to keep her job “by telling him she might be willing to go on dates with him again” in the future. Another woman reported that Coleman offered to create an entirely new position for her after she told him that she wanted to leave the agency, adding that the position he offered her was one she was highly unqualified for. In addition, the DHS inspector general’s office received several complaints against Coleman, but no further action was ever taken.
After the preliminary investigation was completed on Friday, Long sent out an agency-wide email addressing both the investigation and sexual harassment in the workplace in general, calling for the creation of a new office devoted to investigating allegations of sexual misconduct and implementing mandatory sexual harassment training seminars for all employees.
Long also released a statement announcing that the results of the investigation have left him “no choice but to take decisive action to address lapses in professional responsibility, including requesting further investigation by the DHS Office of the Inspector General,” adding that this problem includes Coleman, but also goes way beyond him.
Long noted, “The biggest problem I may solve here may be the eradication of this cancer. How many complaints were not heard? I’ve got to make sure we have a safe working environment for our employees.” Long added that he wanted to be transparent about this case and investigation in the face of the Me Too era, claiming that, “These allegations are deeply disturbing and harassment of any kind will not be tolerated at FEMA.”