Capitol Police Asking Officers About Talks With Media
Capitol Police authorities have been asking officers questions about media coverage of an alleged affair between a male deputy chief and a subordinate female officer, according to sources within the department.
Three union officials have been interviewed by an investigator from the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility about articles published in June , the sources told CQ Roll Call. The unit reports directly to Capitol Police Chief Kim C. Dine.
This summer, after the female officer was detailed to a coveted assignment that removed her from the deputy chief’s chain of command, rank-and-file officers suggested the department needed better oversight. Officers spoke to CQ Roll Call and other Capitol Hill news outlets on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal for violating a department policy that forbids talking to the media.
One source familiar with the interrogations said it is “not crystal clear” what the internal investigation is about because no respondent has been named. But that source, as well as others, said questions were related to the union member’s discussions with the media. The investigation might also extend to officers outside of union leadership.
The OPR investigates complaints from people inside and outside the department related to officer conduct.
Jim Konczos, chairman of the Capitol Police Labor Committee’s executive board, told CQ Roll Call he could not comment on an ongoing investigation. Secretary Greg Baird and Executive Chief Shop Steward James Myers have also been interviewed, according to sources familiar with the investigation.
Lt. Kimberly Schneider, a public information officer for the department, said the organization does not discuss personnel matters. The policy exists to ensure the integrity of internal investigations and the privacy of employees.
The female officer’s temporary reassignment riled many officers. Union officials acknowledge that a formal grievance was briefly posted to an online union bulletin board that identified the deputy chief and alleged the woman was transferred in violation of the collective bargaining agreement.
Members of Congress with oversight over Capitol Police operations and the department’s budget told CQ Roll Call in June they were aware of the allegations of mismanagement. For instance, House Administration Chairwoman Candice S. Miller, R-Mich., said she was awaiting a report from the department’s independent inspector general before taking action. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., ranking member of the House Appropriations Legislative Branch Subcommittee, said Capitol Police made her panel aware of the accusations and that the panel would be examining the issue further.