July 16, 2012 / 4:31 PM / 6 years ago

Treasury staffer solicited prostitutes: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Treasury Department employee used government resources to solicit prostitutes and another employee accepted gifts from a bank he supervised in violation of conflict of interest rules, reports from Treasury’s internal watchdog said.

A Treasury staffer with the now defunct Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) used his government email to arrange sexual encounters with women advertised on Craigslist, viewed websites offering erotic services and met with prostitutes on three separate occasions, a report by Treasury’s inspector general said.

The OTS has since merged with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The OTS official, who retired from government service in 2010, did not provide any banking information to any prostitute, the report said.

The documents, first reported by The Hill newspaper, were posted online on July 9 and made public through a request under the U.S. freedom of information law.

Treasury’s inspector general also found that a national bank examiner accepted golf fees and food, played golf during work hours and recorded time as work while playing with bank employees.

Bank supervisors - who are responsible for examining banks for safety and soundness - are barred from accepting anything of value from the banks they examine and are not allowed to play golf with members of a supervised bank.

The employee from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said he was always objective and professional and that his supervision of the unnamed bank was never influenced by the golf outings. It is unclear whether the examiner is still working for the OCC.

A spokesman for the OCC said these “are isolated incidences and do not diminish the highly ethical behavior of thousands of other OCC employees.”

“OCC employees, and in particular examiners, are held to ethical standards that go beyond those applicable to government employees generally,” the spokesman said in an emailed statement.

One report found that a long-time employee with Treasury’s Financial Management Services used the government’s express mailing system to process her personal mail from February 2002 through April 2010.

Another report found that a senior information technology specialist violated conflict of interest rules when she did not properly disclose that her husband was employed with an unnamed company while she was serving as the contracting officer’s representative on the contract.

Reporting By Rachelle Younglai; Editing by Xavier Briand and Vicki Allen

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