Government employees accused of wrongdoing often spend months on paid leave, while publicly agencies cryptically speak of lengthy “investigations,” even when establishing misconduct can be as simple as talking to a few people or reviewing some documents. Eventually, the agencies will say, just as vaguely, that the person is “no longer employed.”
Evidence obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation suggests some of these investigations are a sham in which agency officials and the employees have agreed in advance to use paid “administrative leave” as the basis of a hidden settlement.
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management says administrative leave is supposed to be used only for short periods of time, normally when an employee is a specific danger. Even so, the federal government spends $1 billion annually paying people to stay away from the office.
A November 2015 inspector general reportsaid, however, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) used administrative leave to give bad employees, who managers wanted to fire, massive payouts in exchange for resignations instead.