Review of sexual misconduct claims at FDIC could end in second quarter; agency waives restrictions on reporting conduct

A potential end period for the third-party review of sexual harassment claims within the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), plus steps taken to ease the ability of individuals to report such activity, was announced in a release Thursday.

The Special Committee of the FDIC Board of Directors, established late last year to oversee the review, said through Thursday’s release that it “encourages anyone who witnessed or experienced any sexual harassment or hostile, abusive, unprofessional, inappropriate or other interpersonal misconduct at the FDIC to share their experiences” with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP (Cleary Gottlieb), the firm engaged to conduct the review. The committee said it aims to complete its independent review in the second quarter of this year.

In Thursday’s release, the committee reiterated that reports can be left anonymously, and it has added an online form to facilitate such reporting. There are now three ways to report: by phone (202-974-1643), email (, or online (

The FDIC, to facilitate cooperation with the independent review and investigations by the FDIC’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) and Congress, “has agreed to waive any confidentiality restriction currently in place with employees that would otherwise preclude them from discussing specifics of their case or management’s responses,” the committee said. “Accordingly, an individual is free to share documentation or other information related to harassment, interpersonal misconduct, or the FDIC’s workplace culture with investigators, even if prohibited by terms of a settlement agreement or a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) with the FDIC.”

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.”

Special Committee Provides Update on Third-Party Review