We Could Not Have Done It Without You
It's been a wonderful and rewarding journey. And none of it would
have been possible without you.
Nearly eight years ago, I was the new kid on the block. But I was
immediately struck by the spirit and dedication of the men and women who serve in the Department
of Justice. You care about the law and care about doing it right.
Doing the right thing is easy; knowing what the right thing to do
is much harder. That is why I always turned to you. To find out what was wrong. To figure
out what needed fixing. And to determine how to go about making it better. You never let
For eight years, our efforts have paid off. We have seen the
Department's budget double, crime rates plummet, and prosecutions increase. We have seen
more funding for prevention programs and drug treatment; more interest in early intervention
and comprehensive approaches to crime; and, more research into technology so that we stay
ahead of the criminals in the 21st century.
We have helped to improve access for millions of Americans with
disabilities and prosecuted record numbers of hate crimes. We have successfully challenged
discrimination in the housing and lending industries and vigorously addressed issues of
police integrity. We have sought to protect the environment by prosecuting some of the
nation's biggest polluters. And we have promoted competition and protected the rights
of consumers through the enforcement of our antitrust laws.
We have helped to apoint the most qualified and diverse
group of judges to the federal bench. We have opened better lines of communication
with our law enforcement counterparts, not just state and local law enforcement, but
foreign law enforcement as well. And we have promoted the use of alternative dispute
resolution, proving that lawyers can be effective problem solvers and not just
There is so much to be proud of over the past eight years.
But, most of all, I am proud of you. Thank you.
Follow-up Sexual Harassment Study Undertaken
Zero Tolerance. That's the philosophy behind the Justice
Department's sexual harassment policy. It's a workplace issue that continues to face
us and it's a problem the Department remains committed to addressing.
As part of that commitment, a random selection of employees
will be sending surveys to the Merit Systems Protection Board. This effort, at the
request of the Department, will be part of a follow-up study to the Board's 1996
report on sexual harassment.
While the 1996 report helped determine the nature and extent
of sexual harassment in offices around the country, the new study will help Department
officials assess their ongoing efforts to create a zero tolerance workplace. It will
also help them to target the places in the Department where help is most needed.
Survey participants can let Department officials know whether
problems persist in their offices and whether there are patterns of behavior that may not
meet the legal definition of sexual harassment, but still interfere with workplace
productivity. In addition, participants' can indicate that sexual harassment is not a
problem within their work environment.
"You can make a difference," Attorney General Reno said.
"Without your input, we may not be able to address the concerns of our most valuable
resource - our employees."
If you believe you have been a victim of sexual harassment,
you can contact your component's Office of Equal Employment Opportunity, the Office of
Professional Responsibility, or the Office of the Inspector General.
Employees Gain New Resource for Work-Related Concerns
Have you ever:
Then you could use an Ombudsperson.
- experienced difficulties at work that left you upset, frustrated or
- needed to talk to someone who could provide options that might improve
the quality of your work life?
- been concerned over career or performance-related issues, perceived
discrimination or harassment of any kind, problems with interpersonal
working relationships, group conflicts and management and work team
For employees who find themselves in these or similar
situations, Ella Wheaton is the newest resource for work-related concerns. She
can provide options and perspectives, coaches for self-help, facilitate discussions,
mediate disputes and more.
As Ombudsperson, Ms. Wheaton is an informal, independent,
impartial, and confidential resource, who will listen, analyze the situation, and
provide options for you to decide the approach you wish to take in dealing with
"Ella Wheaton brings a wealth of knowledge and experience
to her post as the Department's Ombudsperson," Attorney General Reno said. "Her
extensive experience in conflict management and resolution of workplace issues
ensures that she will be a beneficial resource to employees in need."
Employees in the Department's Offices, Boards & Divisions
and the selected components in the Washington D.C. area, may contact the office of the
Ombudsperson for an in-person or telephone appointment at 202-616-7327; write to the
Office of the Ombudsperson, 950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Rm. 6243, Washington, D.C.
20530; or send a fax to 202-616-6534. Please do not use e-mail to discuss issues.
E-mail is not confidential.
Employees outside the Washington D.C. area should contact
their office's personnel officer for additional resources.
Attorney General Leads Pro Bono Efforts
Continuing to demonstrate her commitment to the
Department's pro bono efforts, Attorney General Reno participated in the D.C.
Bar's Advice and Referral clinic in Washington, D.C. this month. The clinics,
which Department attorneys and paralegals staff on a quarterly basis, provide
desperately needed assistance to clients in need of counseling and referral
It has been a banner year for the Department's program,
which was launched in 1996 when Attorney General Reno issued the first-ever
Department of Justice Pro Bono and Volunteer Services Policy. In June, the
Department was awarded the prestigious D.C. Bar "Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year
Award" - the first time that a federal agency has received this award.
Representing domestice violence victims in civl
protection order cases, facilitating adoptions, acting as guardians ad litem
for endangered children, staffing walk-in clinics, filling out tax forms are just
a few of the broad range of legal matters in which Department volunteers
participated. U.S. Attorneys offices and other field offices have also created
a number of innovative programs in communities across the country.
"Providing legal services to those most in need is a
rewarding experience," said Reno.
For more information about the Department's Program,
contact Pro Bono Program Manager Jessica Rosenbaum at 202-514-3737, or via
Jessica.Rosenbaum@usdoj.gov. For more information about non-legal volunteer
opportunities in the Washington, D.C. area, contact Vince Micone at 202-616-3705.
Inspector General Confirmed
Glenn A. Fine was confirmed as the Department's
Inspector General by the U.S. Senate on December 15, 2000.
Fine had been serving as the Acting Inspector
General since August 2000 and prior to that had served for four years as the
Director of the Office of the Inspector General's (OIG's) Special Investigations
and Review Unit.
Before joining the OIG in 1995, Fine specialized in
labor and employment law at a Washington, D.C. law firm. From 1986 to 1989, he
served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District
of Columbia. Fine graduated magna cum laude from both Harvard College and Harvard
Law School and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.