Marshals Service plagued by ‘waste and misconduct,’ report finds

A Senate Judiciary Committee investigation found that the US Marshals Service has a “culture of misconduct” that includes misused funds for expensive office furniture along with hiring and accountability violations, according to a report released by the committee Thursday.

The committee found “a culture of mismanagement, reckless spending, favoritism, and a general lack of accountability at the USMS,” the 430-page report reads. “In what has been described by whistleblowers as a ‘frat’ style of management, senior officials appear to act with impunity while lower level employees are held to a stringent standard.”

The committee found several instances of what it characterized as inappropriate hiring and human resources practices, such as preferential treatment and the hiring of friends or relatives.

According to the report, the Marshals Service was also plagued by financial mismanagement, spending $22,000 on a conference table and over $1 million on a speechwriter’s contracts. The committee also found that due to lack of oversight, “by mid-summer 2017, over 2,000 USMS operational employees were using expired or soon-to-be expired body armor,” the report reads.

It began investigating the Marshals Service after hearing from a few whistleblowers in 2015 about questionable spending and hiring practices that were only “the tip of the iceberg,” committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, said in a news release.

The committee spoke to over 100 whistleblowers, including 15 whose allegations “involved violations of federal law” and 20 who experienced retaliation for communicating with the panel, according to the report.

The Marshals Service did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.