The House Financial Services Committee has subpoenaed two Consumer Financial Protection Bureau officials and a union representative to appear before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations as part of an ongoing investigation into allegations of discrimination and retalition at the CFPB.
The three officials are set to appear before the Subcommittee on May 21.
These allegations were outlined at an April 2 Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing where CFPB attorney and whistleblower Angela Martin testified that “there is a pervasive culture of retaliation and intimidation that silences employees and chills the workforce from exposing wrongdoing.”
The allegations of racial discrimination and retaliation were first reported in American Banker on March 6.
Ironically, just days ago, the CFPB issued a warning to lenders that if they didn't get more aggressive about so-called "fair lending" they could faces charges of discrimination.
At that same hearing, the subcommittee also heard from Misty Raucci, an outside investigator hired by the CFPB to examine Martin’s claims. Raucci concluded after an investigation that Martin’s claims of retaliation were valid.
The CFPB and the National Treasury Employees Union refused to allow invited witnesses to appear at the April 2 hearing when they learned that Martin would testify.
Their refusal resulted in the subcommittee voting unanimously to approve subpoenas for Stacey Bach, Assistant Director of the CFPB’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity; Liza Strong, Director of Employee Relations at the CFPB; and Ben Konop, Executive Vice President of NTEU Chapter 335.
“Regrettably, congressional subpoenas were necessary in order for the committee to get the answers it needs in this investigation. In the coming months, the committee expects to hear from all those who can shed light on allegations of discrimination and retaliation. The Bureau must be held accountable for any such reprehensible behavior,” said Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas.
“The CFPB’s refusal to provide answers about alarming allegations of rampant racial, gender and age discrimination is unacceptable. Through our ongoing investigation, it has become quite clear to the subcommittee that the three individuals who have been subpoenaed have the most knowledge of the disturbing treatment which women and minority employees are subjected to at the CFPB,” said subcommittee Chairman Patrick McHenry, R-N.C.