Providing Representation for Federal Employees Under Investigation by Their Inspector General

Headnotes: 

Neither the Department of Justice nor any other federal agency has authority to provide legal representation to a federal employee in disciplinary proceedings instituted by his own agency. Authority to provide counsel to a federal employee may be implied only where the employee’s official conduct has been attacked by a nongovernmental plaintiff or a state prosecutive office, and not by an agency of the government itself.

An Inspector General’s Office is an integral part of the agency in which it is located, and its investigation of an agency employee is thus analogous to an investigation of Department of Justice employees by the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice.

Updated July 9, 2014