New Jersey Investigations of Federal Employees Lawyers
How to Protect Your Career During a Federal Employee Investigation
Learning that you are under investigation by the Inspector General Office can be incredibly stressful for any federal employee. Most investigations start with complaints from other employees or supervisors regarding alleged misconduct.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, it’s important to consult with an experienced federal employment lawyer as soon as possible. They can provide guidance and representation throughout the entire legal process.
Types of Federal Employee Investigations
Some of the most common types of investigations involving federal employees include:
– Falsification of documents
– Security violations
– Prohibited practices
– Theft or misuse of government property or equipment (e.g., computers and emails)
– Workplace violence
– Misuse of a government-owned vehicle
– Misuse of funds
– Off-duty criminal activity or alcoholism
– Absence without leave
The Nature of Federal Employee Investigations
Federal agencies begin disciplinary action against an employee when accused of wrongdoing. They typically issue a written notice proposing disciplinary action or adverse action. This notice should explain the reasons for the proposed disciplinary action and give the employee an opportunity to respond in writing or orally.
Investigations may be conducted by various parties, such as agents from the Office of Inspector General, human resources staff, agency investigators, supervisors, or contracted investigators.
At this stage, it’s crucial to hire an attorney specializing in federal employment law who can help you navigate your rights and advise on what to expect during the investigation.
Your Rights During an Investigation
While under investigation, federal employees have several rights and protections afforded to them. The investigating agency has a duty to inform you about these rights before requiring you to participate in interviews.
For instance, if you’re facing criminal allegations, the agency must provide Miranda warnings informing you about your constitutional privilege against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment. After receiving these warnings, it’s to remain silent and request an attorney. If you’re facing administrative misconduct, you may receive Garrity or Kalkines warnings. These inform you of the limitations on how information obtained during interviews can be used against you.
Throughout the investigation process, your attorney will help protect your rights and guide you in choosing the options for your career.
Access to Your Documents
According to Section 6 of the Inspector General Act, Federal Investigators may obtain records related to investigations, including reports, reviews, audits, recommendations, and other materials. They also have subpoena powers and may access financial records outside of federal government offices.
The Investigation Process
The primary goal of a federal investigation is to determine whether allegations are true or false. Investigators focus on gathering facts surrounding the incident.
A plan is created outlining how investigators aim to gather relevant evidence that proves or disproves employee conduct allegations. Investigations involve reviewing documents such as contracts and memoranda as well as interviewing technical experts and witnesses under oath in transcribed depositions.
After obtaining all necessary information, agents present their findings in a report that is reviewed by DOJ attorneys when criminal charges are considered necessary. Administrative offenses are handled differently; they are presented to appropriate FCC managers for disciplinary action.
Federal employee investigations could jeopardize one’s career if not handled properly. It’s essential to engage experienced attorneys such as Spodek Law Group who handle employment law cases early enough. Having a qualified attorney significantly increases your chances of maintaining your career while avoiding undeserved prison sentences.
Remember that federal agents cannot deviate from established procedures during investigative interviews when an attorney is representing an employee under investigation — meaning that having an attorney alongside ensures compliance with standard procedures.
NEW JERSEY CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS