Former acting U.S. attorney to lead workplace abuse team in FDIC review; hotline started for witness accounts

A former acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) will lead a team of three lawyers from a New York, N.Y., and Washington, D.C., law firm in conducting a workplace culture review for a committee of the federal insurer of bank deposits, the agency said Monday.

Joon H. Kim, the former acting U.S. attorney, will be joined by two colleagues from his firm of New York- and D.C.-based Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. Jennifer Kennedy Park and Abena Mainoo will join Kim. The trio was appointed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) Board’s special committee to oversee an independent third-party review of the agency’s workplace culture.

According to the FDIC, Kim focuses on internal investigations, as well as criminal and regulatory enforcement in his practice at Cleary. From March 2017 to January 2018, the agency said, he served as the acting U.S. attorney for SDNY. In that role, he oversaw in that district all criminal and civil litigation conducted on behalf of the United States and supervised the work of approximately 220 assistant U.S. attorneys. Cases handled included public corruption, fraud, cybercrime, money laundering, cryptocurrency, tax litigation, terrorism, racketeering, Bank Secrecy Act and sanctions violations, and theft of trade secrets and economic espionage, as well as civil rights, civil enforcement, and environmental matters., the FDIC said.

Park focuses on complex disputes, white-collar defense, and enforcement actions in her practice, the agency said. “In the wake of the #MeToo movement, she has routinely been called upon to investigate and advise on issues of discrimination and harassment,” the agency noted.

Mainoo, the FDIC said, focuses on internal investigations, enforcement actions, and parallel litigation. At Cleary, the agency said, she regularly handles sensitive investigations involving allegations made against management.

The special committee was established by the FDIC Board Nov. 21 in the wake of past allegations of sexual harassment and other misconduct at the agency. Members of the committee include board members Michael Hsu (acting comptroller of the currency) and Jonathan McKernan. The committee’s charge, according to the agency, is to “provide direction to and oversee an independent third-party review of allegations of sexual harassment and interpersonal misconduct at the FDIC and management’s response to that harassment and misconduct.”

The review to be led by the trio from Cleary, according to the FDIC, will also assess the FDIC’s workplace culture, “including any practices that might discourage or deter the reporting of or responding to sexual harassment and interpersonal misconduct.”

Also Monday, the agency’s special committee announced it wants “both past and current FDIC employees who witnessed or experienced any sexual harassment or hostile, abusive, unprofessional, inappropriate or other interpersonal misconduct at the FDIC to share their experiences” with the Cleary attorneys team.

A telephone hotline and email address to gather information related to the review has been established. Individuals with information relevant to the review, the FDIC said, should call 202-974-1643 or contact the independent counsel team via email at

The agency said reports may be left anonymously, and that the Cleary team will handle reports confidentially. “And, as appropriate, can discuss with those reporting into the hotline any restrictions the individual wishes to impose on how the information is used,” the agency said.

Special Committee of the FDIC Board Selects Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP to Conduct Independent Review