Education Department deputy is subject of an Inspector General complaint
- December 12, 2022
Juliette Fairley, Legal Newsline
WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – A federal watchdog filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s (DOE) inspector general against a top deputy of Secretary Miguel Cardona and asked for an ethics investigation.
Protect the Public’s Trust alleged in its complaint that DOE Deputy Chief of Staff Donna Harris-Aikens has potentially violated her ethical obligations in continued interactions with the National Education Association (NEA), a national teacher’s union.
“Among those interactions that we believe were improper were coordination between the National Education Association, which is her former employer, with respect to the school reopening guidance,” said Michael Chamberlain, director of Protect the Public’s Trust. “So, that’s the allegation that we’re making is that she acted improperly in her contacts with a former employer.”
PPT became aware of Harris-Aikens’ communications through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) query.
“We did find indications that the teachers’ union had provided information that they would like to have included and provided edits to the documents from the CDC guidance on school reopening during COVID,” Chamberlain said. “Some of that was involved in, or included in the FOIA documents that we received.”