We sent a FOIA Request to DHS OIG on March 27, 2013 asking for documents related to 3 prior FOIA requests, travel records and any complaints against Deputy IG Charles Edwards, and documents disclosed to Andrew Becker, a journalist at the Center for Investigative Reporting.
After not receiving the documents we requested, we filed a lawsuit for the records on June 11, 2013.
Based on information from our insiders, we sent a letter asking President Obama to remove Deputy IG Edwards on July 1, 2013 for:
- Failing to appropriately conduct investigations (including whitewashing a report on the solicitation of prostitutes by the Secret Service in Colombia)
- Improper travel costs. Edwards would conduct “site checks” at a nearby DHS OIG office in Miramar, Florida but his actual intent was to attend classes for his doctorate degree at Nova Southeastern University. Edwards also took two separate three-day trips to a remote DHS office in Puerto Rico and stayed in resort hotels.
- Nepotism for hiring his wife and promoting those who approved her five month telework request.
- Destruction of federal records
- Disregard of the Freedom of Information Act and the removal of records
- Intimidating and retaliating against employees
DHS OIG finally sent us a partial response on July 2, 2013 and the documents confirm what our whistleblowers were saying about Deputy IG Edwards.
- The travel records show that Edwards stayed in a hotel closer to his school than to the DHS OIG Office and he even received a special rate for “Nova SE University.”
- They also confirm that Edwards took two separate three-day trips to a remote DHS office in Puerto Rico and stayed in resort hotels.
- Telephone records show that Edwards’ wife, Madhuri Edwards, primarily used her government issued international phone to call Charles Edwards while on telework in India.
Cause of Action’s Executive Director Dan Epstein discussed Deputy IG Charles Edwards on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper.
Production: Internal Complaints (October 31, 2013)
Interim DHS OIG FOIA Production (July 2, 2013 )
DHS OIG FOIA Complaint (June 11, 2013)
FOIA Request (March 27, 2013)