Former teachers union official accused of violating ethics pledge

Former teachers union official accused of violating ethics pledge

  • December 7, 2022

Spencer Irvine; Americans for Fair Treatment

A former teachers union official-turned-federal-government-official allegedly violated the Biden Administration’s Ethics Pledge and other relevant federal ethics regulations because of continued interactions with her former employer, the National Education Association (NEA).

A watchdog organization filed the ethics complaint against the deputy chief of staff under Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, Donna Harris-Aikens. Protect the Public’s Trust, a federal watchdog organization, noted that Harris-Aikens worked for the NEA for fourteen years and her most recent role was a Senior Director of Education and Policy Practice.

The Biden Administration Ethics Pledge specifically bans political appointees from communicating with their former employer in official communications, such as emails, but Harris-Aikens “was in regular contact with officials at the NEA from virtually her first moment at the Department.” Protect the Public’s Trust discovered this information from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, which uncovered direct, official communications between Harris-Aikens, the NEA, and American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

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