tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 23, 2016 4:00am-6:01am EDT
immunity. only in the previous interviews which would expose him to possible prosecution if he were to -- come i think it's reasonably predictable that he would be subject to criminal prosecution because of the onerral by this committee this matter. in essence, what is going on here is that we are engaging in decision bythe director comey not to prosecute. that is what we are doing here. that is why the prosecutorial notes were requested by this committee and surrendered.
why all of this is ongoing because this committee beyond theo legislative function we have and to have a noble review of what the attorney general has whatssed and closed and the director of the fbi has refused to prosecute. this is a violation of the separation of powers clause of the constitution. i think what we are doing here today is something that is denied to the judiciary when a prosecutor looks at the facts and this is an extensive interview process, a review whenss investigation -- they decide that there are not sufficient back to prosecute, --
ts to prosecute, that if the decision. they can decide whether to prosecute. that decision has been made. because of the newness of the election, this committee is going where no committee has gone before to basically review the decision of the fbi not to prosecute in this matter. particular hearing to hold him in contempt really boils down to this, the chairman is ule that thehis r witness have to come before the committee to be subjected to what the witnesses were subjected to left week. hadas total investment, we quotes of e-mails read and other
evidence and forcing them to their fiftheclare amendment rights. been publicly embarrassed on tv. that is the chairman's role but that is not the law. hearings, mr. gowdy and i give him credit, in compliance with the law, he brought that witness in a closed hearing and that witness exercises that amendment right. that was the decent and fair and legal thing to do. that is not what we are doing here. we're continuing to try to embarrass this particular as other witnesses were embarrassed last week. that is not necessary. i think it is beneath the
andity of this committee piloted of the constitutional rights of the witness. that is what this boils down to. i think this contempt proceeding will have short threats in the district court. i do not think it is going anywhere. i take comfort in that fact. we are so far appealed from the constitution again in this committee. not only the fifth amendment, but also the separation of powers that we try to take up a new with this matter that has been settled by the fbi director and attorney general. the gentleman from south carolina. >> thank you. committee,s of this they know how they're going to
vote. they probably knew earlier this morning. i don't think this will change any minds. i do want to talk to the folks who may be following this back on. trying to figure out what these lawyers are arguing about. there are two separate issues. number one, whether or not you have to come when you have been issued a summons or subpoena. sitting injurye rooms right now all across this country who received a summons even though they lobby called for jury service, they may be excused or disqualified. but they still have to come. there are subpoenas being issued all across this country, firefighters and ems and police officers and doctors and everyone else who may have witnessed anything from a crime to a traffic accident. they may not get called as a witness but they have to come. issue number one is whether or
not you have to come when you are issued legal process. the answer is yes. herselfess himself or does not get to pick and choose which legal process they will follow and which one you will not. or no one would go to jury service. she number one is do you have to come. issue number two is whether you have to talk. unless your name is jack bauer, you cannot force anyone to talk. we can have a robust debate about whether or not this witness has been immunized. i read the immunity agreement, what i find interesting is the doublespeak that i hear from some of my colleagues. you cannot say doj has refused to prosecute and this is a nothing case and then the next sentence say you are worried they are going to prosecute.
congress cannot prosecute anyone for anything. nothing. the only entity in this country that can level criminal charges is the executive branch. they have artie said they are not going to do so. exposure?is criminal where is it? unless they're going to say, mr. chairman, we are worried that he's going to make a false statement before congress? that would be interesting if that is the argument. we are worried that this witness who cooperate with the fbi might tell congress something different. what, the agreement he has with the department of justice for our sin to be truthful -- requires him to be truthful. you would want him to say the same thing. this is what i find most interesting. the department of justice has artie said they will not prosecute anybody for anything. this matter is closed. nobody is good to be prosecuted.
i will bet you that agreement allows for this witness to cooperate with other entities of government. in the old days, it required that witness to cooperate with other entities of government. i will tell you why, i have sat while some of the very members to do this room right now ,rovided oversight over the fbi over national security letters. they did not give one second thought about second-guessing the fbi and the issuing of national security letters. who else would provide oversight over the fbi if not for congress ? another's onme this committee provide oversight over the department of justice. over the prosecution of ted stevens. they have no problem providing oversight over the department of justice.
that is when they don't like the outcome. when they do like the outcome, we cannot second-guess, that is the one entity that can never be second-guessed, the fbi. i find that fascinated -- thus making coin from as many criminal defense attorneys on the other side and made a living questioning the fbi. that is how they made their living, second-guessing the fbi. what you take the oath of office for congress, whatever they do, you don't want to prosecute the big banks are fbi, we are fine with that. you don't to do anything about the people who did fraud during the housing crisis, we are fine with that. upper been we ask the fbi something. did you give immunity to the person who destroyed federal records after subpoena in place, that is a fair question. i think every member of congress would want to know the answer. >> judgments time expired.
-- gentleman's time expired. the man from virginia. >> to clarify for the folks back home what this is all about, i don't know if you did that. the rising tenor of his voice of outrage was something that has gone awry. let me take my crack about talking to the folks back home what has gone awry. the tripling of your rights,: is. election not going well, presidential level, maybe we can clintonout of hillary and he might be the key to doing that. or at least a key. marshals to to send someone's office to degrade into million him and -- and humiliate
him. we will do without consultation with this half of the committee. which tells you they are up to something they don't quite want us to know about. my friend from south carolina says there's a double standard. i supported their critique of the prosecutors that they overreached and it was wrong. in my home state of virginia, i don't applaud the acts -- actions but i support the supreme court ruling that it was prosecutorial overreach and there was too much ambiguity of what constitutes "quote -- print quote -- we print also share a concern about a broader principle than a
short-term political cheap shot. right of amendment u.s. citizen began to -- be damned. that is not right. over, thishis is election cycle, the sad legacy dispensingdiency of with a constitutional right of every american to protect himself or herself against legal a process thate protects them from testifying if they choose not to whether they like it or not. this is not the first time we have cap on those rights. we subsequently has given up those rights even though she
protested that was not true. even though her attorneys insisted that was not true. even though there are plenty of case law during the mccarthy era that clearly suggests that is not the standard. that the stop us. today we are going to vote on toty lines and we're going degrade the reputation of congress and this committee and it to make every american trouble just a little bit -- ter remble because if we can do this liono, we can do this to you. what other rights, not the second amendment. that is sacred. that is not conditional in any way shape or form. but the first amendment, not so much. this amendment not at all. we will get to the rest if it is
convenient or expedient or politically serves our interest. that's a can of for this job -- an oath for the stock, it was not so he would come from us is right at the table to be humiliated. it would be -- it was to protect the constitutional rights of every american the best of my ability. we are about to compromise those rights. that is wrong and that is a legacy on the bus be proud of. i yield back. >> any other member which to speak? ms. maloney. we have to get him his plaque at > missed by cap -- >> that everyone on the side of the aisle as a criminal defense attorney. some of us are prosecutors and
could never see themselves as a criminal defense attorney. the scope of the law, i take this extremely seriously. i'm concerned about this being an unethical act on the part of this committee. my colleagues question that this is not about politics and not partisan come i'm wondering what it is about. i think it is about an abuse of power and a waste of time. it is a waste of this committee's time and it is destroying the committee. it is destroying the reputation of this committee because it is very clear he would do if he came here. many of my college believe they can break the man. and take away him asserting his fifth amendment right when his attorneys have told us that should he be brought here, he will assert his fifth amendment right to every question.
what is the point? what is the point of bringing them here having him in contempt of the camera except for the camera. something we could do in closed doors under deposition and it would be on the record. veryttorneys have been clear in writing that he came before this committee, he would andinue to exert his rights they offer to bring him to personally assert his rights in a closed-door session. that is not good enough for the committee. that does not serve the purpose of what this committee once. s. want i thought the colleagues were interested in coming to the truth and find information that we have not found out. that is the purpose of the oversight and government reform committee. it seems that the name of the committee should be changed to the abuse committee. the abuse of power committee. the committee that likes to make sound bites.
the committee that likes to be on cnn and msnbc and how political fodder for whatever they need. that is the problem. this also problem because we are not protecting the attorneys that are on the committee. it is very clear that under legal ethics rules set forth by the american bar association as well as the district of columbia that if we move forward on this, you are exposing the attorneys who practice or have decided that they want to keep their bar standing or the staff attorneys. i would like to ask the chair, are we going to protect the attorneys that are here? in a place with a can of criminal charges? --where they can have criminal charges? our attempt to be in so important that the staff that works for us should be pushed out on a limb -- put out on a limb to meet our needs and
expediency before november 8? or as i understand from some of the assertions, maybe after january 20 if does not go the way they wanted to go?. -- want it to go? i pose the question to the committee. are we going to expose speak committees -- expose the committees here because we want to skirt the edges a little bit for the political expediency that we need to move forward. >> i want to thank you for raising the issue with regard to ethical rules of the bar. i said that i said that i've been a member of the maryland 1976.nce i worked hard to get the license. middle are not practicing come i to usehink -- use it
because i do know anything to happen to the license. as for to uphold the ethical rules of my profession just as i know you have not just the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law. maryland has a legal and ethical role that says, in attorney shall not use means that have no substantial purpose other than to embarrass the third person. how the actions of this committee regarding this man would do anything other than that. that is why voting against this. the yield. >> the gentleman's time has expired. gentleman from texas. i will be brief. i'm not concerned about voting for this. i'm a licensed attorney and i'm confident that any legislative action i take will be protected
under the speech and debate clause of theconstitution that says i shall not be questioned in any or other form that it take as a legislator. i yield back. >> any member which to speak? -- wish to speak? ms. maloney. claimedave repeatedly on television and other places that this is one of the biggest security breaches in the history of the state department. false,aim is completely unsubstantiated in any way, shape, or form. the fbi director has been on record and has said already and concluded, i'm quoting from the
fbi director, we did not find evidence confirming that clinton's e-mail server system were compromised by ciber means. agency is an independent , apolitical, nonpartisan whose purpose is to find the truth, protect the american people and protect our system of government. they found that this was totally unfounded and outlandish and untrue. what are we doing? the only person that is being hurt by this is hillary rodham clinton. the fbi has artie said there is no case there. there is no harm there. statetrast, the official department system was hacked in 2015 by reported russian hacker
and it apparently was a terrible cyber intrusion against a federal agency in our country. to put this into perspective about what we are really talking about. some members of this committee may not remember that in the 1990's, this is exactly what the republican leadership did under former chairman dan burton who is chairman of this committee. they falsely accused and ,isputed -- undisputedly falsely closed -- accused the clinton white house of the story e-mail to hide them. they launched hearings. massive investigations and their claims turned out to be completely false. completely unsubstantiated. just like these claims that they are putting forth now.
today, theyust like wildly exaggerated the claims. i want to read from the actual report that this committee put out under former republican chairman dan burton in october 20, 2000.-- they claimed that scandal was bigger than watergate. may i quote from the report, the e-mail matter can fairly be called the most significant obstruction of congressional investigation united states history. what the white house section of watergate related only to the watergate reagan -- break in the potential, structuring of justice -- obstruction of justice reaches further. night a report in
the ask unanimous consent to place it in the record by the democratic minority at that time called unsubstantiated allegations of wrongdoing involving the clinton administration. i urge everyone to read it. what we have today is another deja vu. a repeat of the same false obligations -- allegations. i would say they are political and politically motivated. our independent fbi said there is not a problem. they are trying to create one with false allegations. are and in the same republican hysteria is now being thrown at another clinton, the
same unsubstantiated allegations , the same completely exaggerated paul's claims. to readhose in public the report of the fbi on the current e-mails and to read the report of the prior hysterical hearings that proved to have no base interest. my time has expired. >> i would like everybody to read the fbi report, unfortunately has not been released in its totality. the gentleman from north carolina. appreciate your recognition. i would like to ask a gentlewoman from new york to remind her of the rules. devised to not
address other members. they can address the chair. >> i would make a point of order is getting toere bring in personalities. we have rules on this committee were attacking members come into their motives or anything else is not to be done. i would kindly ask that the chair remind members and if they're going to make personal attacks that they need to keep those in a generic and nonspecific form. i yield back. >> point of personal privilege. claims, notg about a member. >> no. ok? the gentleman yielded to me that members are advised, i will read what it was said. members are devised unless -- observe the decorum.
use onespect we, may not parliamentary language. is, you can be disgusted by it, he could be frustrated by it, there is a seminal question, i don't think it is a partisan question when there is a duly issued subpoena, that person must appear. it is not an optional exercise. it is not my will to dial it in by sending a letter from my attorney. the latter which side of the aisle are on, if you believe in the role of block, -- rule of law, if you believe in the reality of the constitution, non-attendance is not an option. i feel strongly about that.
mr. cummings talked about in a statement about secret this and secret that, i believe it should be as open and transparent. i don't think it should be done behind closed doors. i do think it should be open and transparent. that is the way the judiciary branch operates. i think it is the way the committee should operate to the maximum extent possible. i would like it to be as open and transparent as possible. a subpoena inued the right way. it is not an optional exercise. that is the question today. twice, i was generous. twice we gave him an opportunity to show up. i wish you were not here today. we should not be here today. that was the choice made. you're left with this. we will hold him in contempt. he violated the subpoena. the back to the judgment from a
killing. . -- gentleman from north carolina. -->> i would hope that mr. maloney, she was trying to take a minute to explain what to try to do. i would ask that should be allowed to do that. >> reclaiming my time. >> not supposed to. >> i did not mention anybody's name. i've mentioned the gentlewoman from new york. as a relates to -- the ranking member will note this is something that is very personal to me because i came to his defense when someone on my side attacked him. it is important that we had debate, it is important that we do that without personalities involved. we must rise to the occasion to have differences without making personal attacks. i yield back. >> point of personal progress.
-- privilege. >> no. i want to give members the opportunity. any other member wishes to? santos: as that and listen to mr. komi, i read the report. he did say that the fbi did not the e-mail wasat hacked during the implication that was just made was that i did not in fact happen, that is not what komi said -- comey said. what he said if we would not have been able to determine if it had happened because they were sophisticated.
if you look at somebody like former director of the cia was supporting secretary clinton, he said any good intelligence service would have anything on any unclassified system, particularly something like secretary clinton's e-mails. the issue that the subpoenas driving at is he had a lot of classified information on unclassified service. you have people who are involved and we have a fact pattern in which those e-mails were deleted after not only being revealed publicly, not only after being subpoenaed by congress, but after she had a conversation with people affiliated with secretary clinton. then these transcripts have been found by people online that strongly suggest someone with a similar profile talking about figuring out how to strip a vip e-mail address from a bunch of e-mails. once that became public, it was deleted. there are a lot of questions about how the i.t. side of this investigation was handled. whether the fbi pursued a case
involving potential obstruction of documents. no areople like paglia essential to that. it is an appropriate use of oversight authority. people who know and have been involved in the system, if the fbi cannot get you on a subsistent offense -- there did a sub-crime, destroying evidence, there did not seem to be from the reports that concerted effort to do that. i'm supportive of what the chairman is doing. i yield back. >> any other members wish to speak? i recognize the gentleman from alabama. >> thank you. i have been reluctant to speak on this. i feel compelled because i think this is bigger than the e-mail issue.
it is bigger than the politics that our colleagues keep bringing up. it is about the rule of law and constitutional separation of powers. and i am not the only one who feels that way. widely recognized as preeminent liberal law professors have for the back of the constitution is in great danger. it is essential that we as a committee exercise the authority and responsibility invested in us by the constitution to protect the nation from abuse of power. abuse of power by the executive branch and justice department and clearly, it is against the law to destroy evidence. evidence was destroyed. it is against the law to alter documents and all documents -- and documents were altered. it is our responsibility to protect the constitution and the nation against people who violate the law. it should not matter what party is in power. it should not matter who did it.
that is our responsibility. it should not matter what we are in an election cycle. when you have law professors who testify in a that we are watching a fundamental change in our constitution system and is changing in a way that they warned us. this is bigger than politics and the issues. it is about preserving the separation of powers and this committee upholding the constitutional law. i yield back. >> any amendment to the amendment? any other member wish to speak? those in favor signify by saying aye. opposed? ayes have it. amendment is agreed to.
and the question is on adoption of the contempt report and as amended and transmitting the report as adopted and privately and temperament report. all of those in favor signify by saying aye. opposed. the aye's have it. roll call. has been requested. the clerk will call the role. tz? chaffe votes aye. mr. duncan? votes aye. mr. jordan?
mr. jordan votes yes. mr. wahlberg. mr. thomas, yes. mr. gosar. mr. desjarlais votes yes. mr. gowdy votes yes. votes yes.old mrs. lummis. mr. massey, yes. mr. meadows, yes. mr. desantis, yes, . mr. mulvaney. mr. buck. mr. walker votes yes. mr. blum votes yes. mr. heiss votes yes. mr. russell. mr. carter.
ms. lawrence, no. ms. watson coleman, no. mr. lou. ms. plaskett votes no. mr. desaulnier votes no. mr. boyle votes no. mr. welch votes no. ms. lujan grisham votes no. >> how is the member from the district of columbia recorded? >> ms. norton is not recorded. ms. norton votes no. >> have all members been recorded? >> ms. lummis is not recorded. she votes yes. >> have all members had an opportunity to vote?
members will have two days to submit their views on the report considered. i am asking consent that the staff bailout to make necessary technical changes to the report today subject to the approval of the minority. here no objections, no further business without objection. the committee stands adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. isit ncicap.org]
a.m. eastern time. >> the smithsonian national museum of african american history and culture opens the doors to the public for the first time saturday, and c-span will be live from the national mall starting at 10:00 a.m. eastern for the outdoor dedication ceremony. speakers include president obama and founder lonnie bunch. watch the ceremony live saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. watch live anytime at c-span.org , and listen live on the c-span radio app. several national park service employees were questioned by members of the house oversight committee yesterday about allegations of sexual harassment and other misconduct. one of them shared her personal account of being personally harassed. this hearing is about two hours and 15 minutes.
chair chaffetz: the committee on oversight and reform will come to order. the chair is authorized to declare a recess at any time. we have an important hearing today. it's entitled "examining misconduct and mismanagement at the national park service." in june, national park service director jarvis testified before this committee about the problems in sexual harassment throughout the park service. he suggested that things could potentially get worse before they got better, and boy, was he right. things have gotten a lot worse. we have certainly been able to illuminate and find more problems that unfortunately have been festering and in part of the system for far, far too long. since director jarvis' testimony, numerous park employees from multiple parks have contacted the committee to describe patterns of misconduct at the park service. and today, we are here to determine what the park service is doing to stop the harassment and find out why it keeps happening.
there seems to be some patterns here that are just not anything that we should come close to tolerating. these incidents are happening at our country's most beloved parks. from yellowstone to yosemite and the grand canyon, these are some of the most visited and famous parks literally in the world. unfortunately, they also face serious management challenges and allegations of disturbing misbehavior. it's difficult to have these discussions in an open setting, and i warn the parents of young people who may be watching this, some of this is going to be probably a little touchy and a little inappropriate. but it is what we do on this committee. we illuminate things. we shine the light on them. we are different in the united states of america, as i've said time and time again, in that we are self-critical. we'd better come to a reality grip of what's happening,
because far too often, the people that are accused of this hideous behavior are simply promoted, maybe they get a bonus , and they just move on. there doesn't seem to be a consequence. in yosemite, at least 18 employees, 18, have come forward with allegations of harassment, bullying, and a hostile work environment. these employees lay the blame on the top, on dan ne newbacher, the superintendent of yosemite. park service law enforcement official who investigated the allegation in yosemite concluded this -- "the number of employees interviewed that described horrific working conditions lead us to believe that the environment is indeed toxic, hostile, repressive, and harassing." i don't know that it could get any worse than that, but that is his conclusion. these are the words of the park service's own internal investigators, not the committee staff, not the office of the inspector general.
currently, superintendent neubacher is still running yosemite. he's still there. if this was the only park suffering from these problems, it would be enough of a serious concern. yet, recent allegations from america's first national park yellowstone are truly beyond pale. they include sexual exploitation, intimidation, retaliation, and sexual harassment so depraved that it is disturbing even to discuss. with accusations so alarming you , you would expect the washington office to step in immediately and ensure that employees in yellowstone are safe. while i appreciate the decision to call on the inspector general for assistance, the park service must be more aggressive in protecting public service. we see this time and time again. it's not good enough to just
say, "we're going to ask the inspector general to do it." the park service and the other agencies need to do their job in providing immediate relief, not punt it to somebody else to start doing it. it's not good enough to just say, "we're going to do a survey." i'm tired of hearing about surveys. there is a problem. in our june hearing, we heard about the serious problems at grand canyon and canaveral national park. since then, it was reported that the supervisors were not just left unpunished, some were even promoted. what in the world does it take to get fired from the park service? in most of these cases that i've seen, it's not just one he said, she said. here's a case where we're going to talk about today, we've got 18 people. 18 who are talking about this. leaders who fail in their obligations to protect the public or employees, they need to be fired. if they're not going to take action and protect the employees of the united states of america, then they should leave.
we had hoped our hearing with director jarvis would have prompted some change. instead, it seems to have been treated merely as a speed bump. based on what we've seen, the response to the crisis has been to require additional training for managers and to realign the equal opportunity employment office so that it reports to director jarvis. of course, this is the same director who is the removed from overseeing the park service's ethics program because his own integrity failures included lying to the secretary of the interior. i'm glad to see that director jarvis has announced his retirement. i think that should have happened quite some time ago, but it is kind of stunning that the director of the park service is prohibited from administering an ethics program because of his own ethical problems. and then we wonder why we have a hard time implementing ethical reforms or just implementing things at the park service.
how are line employees supposed to trust the eeo process when the person in charge hasn't followed the rules themselves? something needs to change, and it needs to change fast. i'd like to acknowledge we are joined today by two park service employees testifying in a whistleblower capacity. these brave employees have come forward, despite the fear of possible retaliation. i got to tell you, we will have nothing of that. mr. cummings and i, democrats, republicans, we are united in the idea that we will go to the ends of the earth to protect and support people who step up as whistleblowers. it takes a great deal of guts to come testify before this committee in a volunteer situation and explain what you've seen and heard firsthand. for that, we're exceptionally grateful. it's a difficult thing to do.
i'm not sure it's -- i can't imagine you ever imagined in your life that you would be in this situation testifying before congress. but as i said before, we take this responsibility very seriously. we can't fix it if we don't know precisely what it is. we have a pretty good indication of what it is, but to hear from the frontlines what's really happening is a pivotal concern to us. we want to thank you for your courage, your willingness to step forward. and we expect candid answers. and we will do all we can to protect you from any sort of reprisals. so now i'd like to recognize the ranking member, mr. cummings. rep. cummings: thank you very much, mr. chairman. and i do indeed thank you for calling this hearing. no employee in the federal civil service should ever feel afraid to come to work.
it's a simple statement. but it's very, very important. and no employee should ever feel retaliation if she steps forward or he steps forward to report misconduct that makes him or her feel afraid or uncomfortable. i thank kelly martin, the chief of fire and aviation management at yosemite national park, and ryan healy, fisheries program manager at the grand canyon, for being here today. i thank them for their courage and their willingness to come forward and share with this committee their experiences over decades of work for the federal government. i also thank you for your service. it should not have been
necessary for them to be here today to testify. a task force convened some 16 years ago commissioned a study to examine women in law enforcement occupations in the park service. here is what that study found. some individuals in positions of authority appear to condone , either by their action or inaction, sexual harassment and discrimination. the system used for handling complaints is not trusted by the employees. nor timely in its ability to bring resolution to complaints. that's a major, major problem. it went on to say that employees fear retaliation if complaints are voiced. that was 16 years ago.
the task force concluded, and i quote, "it is critical for the national park service to show a sense of urgency in ensuring that all employees are working in an environment free from unlawful harassment." the task force developed a five-year action plan with nearly 30 recommendations to correct deficiencies with handling complaints, recruitment , and retention efforts. and sexual harassment prevention. however, the park service, by their own admission, few of these recommendations were ever implemented.
obviously, there were folk that did not consider it to be that important. they did not feel the sense of urgency. so that task force report was filed away, put on a shelf, gathering dust, ignored. 16 years later, the inspector general has issued a report finding, and i quote, "the evidence of a long-term pattern of sexual harassment and hostile workforce environment in the grand canyon river district." 16 years later, the inspector general has issued a report finding, and i quote, "a pattern of harassment involving a law enforcement supervisor at the canaveral national seashore." and 16 years later, members of the committee, allegations have been made at yosemite and yellowstone national parks about possible harassment, possible
hostile work environments, and even sexual exploitation. today's hearing will enable us to hear from the park service in regard to specific measures it has implemented to ensure that all employees work in facilities where sexual harassment is not tolerated and the agency's culture welcomes and supports a workforce that reflects the diversity of our nation. i want to hear about the specific reforms that the park service has implemented to ensure that all complaints are handled in a fair, timely, and thorough and consistent manner. i want to hear about the reforms that have been implemented to ensure that this preliminary process yields consistent and fair discipline across all park service facilities and cannot be
abused to retaliate against employees who file complaints. and i want to hear about the reforms that have been implemented to bring the park service's equal employment opportunity program into compliance with the standards of a model program. in ms. martin's prepared testimony she wrote, and i quote, "with steadfast resolve to work together and confront the serious and subtle misconduct issues we currently face, we will set a north star for a culture change for the next generation of the national park service employees." the commitment of employees like ms. martin and mr. healy, i'm confident that we are on the right course to correct long-standing patterns of harassment and retaliation in the park service. i thanked them before, but i
want to thank them again because they are not only here about themselves and things that they've seen, but they are trying to make sure that the park service is a place welcoming to generations yet unborn. however, to make the changes that clearly need to be made, we have to hold a park services feet to the fire. 16 years ago, there were those that sat in these same chairs and tried to hold feet to the fire. but apparently, the fire was not hot enough. well, we are going to have to do it again. there has been 99 days since our last hearing. our committee should continue to hold hearings on the park service every 99 days. until all employees feel safe coming to work and reporting misconduct whenever and wherever it occurs. as i have often said from this committee, during committee hearings, when i see things that are not right, i often say we're
better than that. and we are better than that. and i want to thank our witnesses for coming forward to help us get to where we have to go. with that, i yield back. chair chaffetz: thank the gentleman. i will hold the record open for five legislative days for members who would like to submit a written statement. we will now recognize our panel of witnesses, mr. michael reynolds, deputy director for operations at the national park service of the united states department of the interior. ms. kelly martin is the chief of fire and aviation management at yosemite national park of the national park service, the united states department of interior. and mr. brian healey, fisheries program manager at the grand canyon national park, the national park service in the united states department of the interior. we thank you all for being here. pursuant to committee rules, all witnesses are to be sworn before they testify. so if you'll please rise and raise your right hand.
do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? thank you. you may be seated. let the record reflect that all witnesses answered in the affirmative. in order to allow time for discussion, we would appreciate you limiting your verbal comments to five minutes, but we are going to be pretty lenient on that. if you go over, you'll be just fine. your entire written record will be submitted as part of the record. mr. reynolds, you are now recognized. and you got to make sure you turn it on but bring that
microphone uncomfortably close to your mouth. there you go. thank you. mr. reynolds: thank you, chairman chaffetz, ranking member cummings, committee members, thank you for the opportunity to update the committee on steps the national park service has taken to address sexual harassment cases at the grand canyon national park and canaveral national seashore, as well as the broader issue of harassment in the workplace. the cases at the grand canyon and canaveral were more than a wake up call for the national park service. they presented us with clear and undeniable evidence that we as we begin our second century of service, must extend the same commitment to the employees of the park service as a make to the protection of the nation's most extraordinary places. on behalf after the senior leadership of the national park service and the majority of our 20,000 plus employees who are outstanding, honorable public servants, i share your disgust with the behavior that the inspector general outlined in these reports. in response to those situations, the leadership team at the national park service has committed to making substantial and long-term culture changes at the agency to prevent sexual harassment and to ensure that every employee has a safe and respectful work environment. this kind of change is neither easy nor fast.
we will need to develop trust and support among our employees, visitors, and congress to make the changes that are undeniably necessary. this hearing today is one step in that journey. prior to becoming deputy director in august, i worked in many parks and regional offices throughout my 30 years with the park service. as a regional director for the midwest and more recently as the associate for workforce and inclusion, my focus has been accountability and performance management and change. as the new deputy director, i am personally committed to providing a culture of transparency, inclusion, respect , and accountability and making this a safe place for employees to work. we want to become a model agency. we will become a model agency.
i will start by outlining the specific actions we have taken at the grand canyon and canaveral since we last testified here in june. since the june 14th hearing at the grand canyon, we have appointed a new superintendent, closed the river district within the canyon for now in terms of rangers running the program, taken actions to hold employees accountable for misconduct and acted on an 18-action item recommendation in response to the oig report. at canaveral, we have removed the chief ranger accused of sexual harassment from his duties at the park, moved the superintendent into a detail assignment with the regional office, and initiated the process of moving forward with actions to hold employees accountable for misconduct. employees and supervisors at both parks have received mandatory sexual harassment response training sessions. nationally, we're working with the department of the interior to take steps to eradicate sexual harassment and to change the nps culture. some of these include mandated online training for all managers and employees and distributing new nps specific guides service wide, additional focused training for eeo, human resources, and employee relations staff to support the
workforce, the professionals that would support workforce. new reporting options including a hot line and ombuds office to inhich will be operational weeks, to serve as an independent and confidential resource for employees. a service wide workforce harassment survey to be conducted later this year, and an eeo office that now reports directly to the director and will receive additional support for their critical work, updated policy that provides guidance to employees on harassment, equal employment opportunities, discrimination, and diversity, and a mandatory 14-day deadline for completing anti-harassment inquiries. these efforts will be insufficient without a long-term plan to fundamentally change the culture of the national park service. culture change begins with leadership commitment and accountability and is sustained through on going training, education, and employee engagement. in our centennial year, leadership has refocused what we want the service to look like in its second century and a process
commitment to a transparent process focused on accountability to make the improvements our employees wants and deserve. this needs to be done very urgently. thank you again for inviting me to testify before you today. i am happy to answer any questions that the committee may have. chair chaffetz: thank you. ms. martin, you're now recognized. ms. martin: chairman chaffetz, ranking member cummings, and members of the committee, i was requested before you today to discuss my personal experience with employee misconduct with the national park service. my name is kelly martin. i am the chief of fire and aviation management at yosemite national park. i have been in my current position over 10 years. prior to yosemite, i worked for the forest service for 16 years. between the two agencies, i have 32 years of distinguished service to the american people. i am here before you today as a citizen and on behalf of many of our public land management women leaders. my testimony provided for this hearing focuses on management diligence to address misconduct over the course of my career. my motivation for this statement
is for greater focus and scrutiny on the culture created when leaders of our organization fail to take disciplinary action and to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions. it is not without note the vast majority of individuals who have devoted their life work find working for the national park service is an honorable and noble profession, myself included. i am here before you today to tell you my story, but more importantly to provide testimony regarding the dark clouds of misconduct that remains elusive from public view. when i began working for the national park service as a college student in 1984, i was sure i found my dream job, living and working in the outdoors with those who share the value and importance of public lands and improving resources for the american public. imagine for one minute being 20 something again. we have an idealistic view of the world that is equitable and just. my idealist view was soon shattered when i became victim of sexual harassment not once but three times.
one of my perpetrators was repeatedly caught engaging in voyeuristic behavior all the while receiving promotions within the park service until his recent retirement as deputy superintendent. this is very difficult to sit before you today. i'm not boastful of the history of my sexual harassment experiences. as a matter of fact, this is the first time have i come out publicly to describe the painful scars of my past in an effort to eliminate these kinds of experiences from happening to young women entering our workforce today. i did find my own way to push past these experiences and decided to preserve my opportunity for career advancement. my experiences would go unreported until now. this is a highly personal decision a woman must make, and it is almost always an embarrassing, arduous situation to endure. what brings me to testify today is due to a hostile work environment situation in yosemite national park where dozens of individuals have come
forward with personal statements of demoralizing behaviors to include acts of bullying, gender bias, and favoritism. while not rising to the notoriety of sexual harassment, equally damaging behavior patterns that create a hostile work environment are more pervasive than one might think it is unlikely confined to one part like yosemite, as he will here today. the time has come to recognize hostile work environments affect our employees on a day to day basis. all members of a team that allow the toxic environment to persist are complicit in the negative effects that decrease employee morale and productivity. the subtle and overt nuances of a hostile work environment erode human dignity and diminishes the potential of our most valued resource -- the people who care so deeply in the mission of the park service and their desire to reach their personal and professional aspirations. we owe this to our future generation of women and men leaders who our agency needs to guide us through our challenges.
current human resource challenges. as i walk through my 32 years of service, i want to leave here today with a strong conviction of hope -- hope for the future generation of the park service conservation leaders that will not know what it is like to experience sexual harassment, gender and racial discrimination, sexism, and hostile work environments. hope for national direction to encourage engagement of women and men at the smallest work unit to recognize and thwart negative behavior patterns. stage.insipid hope we can identify misconduct and take swift and appropriate action against perpetrators. i also recognize our agency has many great men who come forward to be courageous mentors and champions of women's contributions and encourage and support an equitable work environment. as the chief of fire and aviation at yosemite, i aim to bring courage and inspiration to many women i'm here representing today, who are hopeful my full written testimony will be the catalyst needed for change in
our culture that is accepting of everyone. thank you for the opportunity to share my experiences and concerns as the current situation in the national park service is dire and needs immediate attention to ensure future generations of employees have access to a workplace free from harassment and hostile work environments. i will be happy to answer any questions you have of me at this time. chair chaffetz: mr. healy, you are now recognized. mr. healy: good afternoon, chairman chaffetz, ranking member cummings, and members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today. i hope the information that i share will provide additional insight into the full scope of the sexual harassment and hostile work environment issues at grand canyon and the efforts of the park service to address the misconduct at the park.
the vast majority of grand canyon employees believe in the nps mission to be hard working, selfless and willing to cooperate to meet goals. nevertheless, as this committee has seen in the office of inspector general's report on a previous pervasive misconduct within the river district, there are exceptions. my testimony today may anger some of my co-workers and managers. based on my experiences, i feel as if my career, my safety, and the safety of other employees at the park may be at some risk even though there are numerous legal protections in place for whistleblowers. thus i am using caution in how i characterize these experiences to protect the privacy of individual victims and witnesses. i know this committee is particularly interested in the response to the findings of misconduct by the oig. first, in august, a boat operator that was implicated in
many of the incidents has been removed from his position. in addition, training sessions were held to address reporting and confidentiality. and the training also provided recommendations on responding to reference checks for employees, and the agency is making progress on a hotline for reporting harassment. however, some actions did not have the desired impact. by shutting down grand canyon, in contracting, we learned we have very limited ability to prohibit problem boat operators from returning to work as contractors on trips. in addition, some employees who worked at the river district may be negatively impacted, and as were in the case of temporary employees, lost work. we could've imported the situation altogether, if employees and supervisors were held accountable. accountability is crucial for managers. the deputy remains in a position
of command, and the river supervisor was assigned to another part. while only a temporary position, this appeared to be a promotion. they found that the superintendent had distributed information confidential to the perpetrators, to the violation of regulations and safety at risk. in addition, despite reasonable and cost-effective alternatives, the deputy superintendent forced him to work in the hostile work environment in 2015. the culture of bullying and harassment is not limited to the river district, nor have all the river issues been addressed. beginning in 2013, i reported multiple instances of bullying to the superintendent, majority superintendent, and human resources staff. the examples included retaliation by some members of the crew, directed to the assault victim who reported the assault to law enforcement.
the assault victim's confidentiality was breached, and she was unable to be part of the trail crew. the use of a misogynistic slur in reference to a senior manager, which was reported by the witness, the witness was allegedly threatened by violence on two occasions. according to those involved, it appeared nps managers did not follow through with the appropriate investigations, and in some cases, made excuses for this behavior. an investigation into these incidents involving a group, which occurred in 2013 and 2014, was finally initiated in april 2016, but the findings have yet to have been reviewed five months later. the termination of two employees who reported sexual harassment has had a severe impact on perceived workplace safety and morale. witnesses and victims remain fearful. i have heard, i was afraid to report. reporting is also discouraged.
i was told that the deputy superintendent and my own supervisor were pressured to lower my performance rating, due to "brian's problems" with the river district and trail crew, including the work environment for all employees. she indicated we have much work to do. the office received almost 100 complaints or concerns, related to the workplace issues at the grand canyon. cultural change is difficult and will take time. and the retention and promotion of managers implicated in wrongdoing may continue, which will discourage future reporting and challenge morale and confidence in nps leadership. i sincerely hope that this testimony will lead to continue d positive change in the agency. thank you. chair chaffetz: thank you. we will now recognize the gentlewoman from wyoming, one of the most beautiful states, perhaps second only to utah, but one of the more beautiful ones, and the home of one of our most treasured national parks.
i would like to recognize ms. lummis for five minutes. rep. lummis: thank you, mr. chairman. we are primarily focused here on grand canyon and yosemite national park, but it seems like more problems are cropping up in the system. mr. reynolds, are you aware of allegations by bob hester of misconduct among employees at yellowstone national park? mr. reynolds: yes. rep. lummis: in an article published in the "montana pioneer" just before labor day weekend, mr. hester alleges there was exploitation as well as retaliation by supervisors at yellowstone. the article mentions allegations, also a financial misconduct. now, who is currently investigating these allegations? mr. reynolds: the inspector general. rep. lummis: have they begun interviewing witnesses? mr. reynolds: the last
information, as i understand, is that have not, but they have an arrival date of september 27 in the park. rep. lummis: when was the outside investigator scheduled to begin interviewing? mr. reynolds: i had a first phone call around september 3, and i believe the following week, the week of the 5th, the superintendent began to put together the right mechanisms to bring an independent investigative team. rep. lummis: one of the things that concerns me, mr. chairman, is that in instances where the superintendent of a park is not implicated in the charges or the allegations of sexual misconduct, and then attempts to investigate it, and initiate the investigation quickly, that maybe there the ig stops the investigation that is going on. i think this is the case in yellowstone, where
superintendent link was beginning an investigation and bringing in outside investigators to do an independent inquiry. then was prevented from doing so, because the ig was brought in, thereby delaying the opportunity to obtain statements, while people's memories were fresh, and potentially providing for the opportunity for certain of the alleged perpetrators to retire. and so, trying to balance how do we protect employees, how can we protect the people who, like mr. healy and ms. martin, who are bringing this information forward. and at the same time, make sure
that these investigations are conducted in a timely manner. mr. reynolds: i agree, completely, with your concerns. one of our new policy shifts that i alluded to in my testimony that we are doing with our eeo program is to establish these third-party investigation units, that would be able to swiftly go in. i am going to recommend a 24-hour to 48-hour turnaround once we have a report. superintendent wink have begun that process. i like have further conversations with the ig. i think they're doing their job
to come in and do this. i am not sure they want to have a clean investigation, and so, they did ask us to stand down a third-party investigator, but i know the superintendent has expressed his dismay to me about how he is worried about the time for that. so, we agree. rep. lummis: in the case of mr. wink, there were no allegations against them, no allegations to my knowledge that he knew and looked the other way. but what about the case where that is not true? what about the case where the superintendent of a national park is implicated? how do you deal with that situation? mr. reynolds: it is very important we have someone from the outside managing the process, so that you do not have any problems, if you will, tanking an investigation, right? so, in one example, our policy director from a different office of the park the work of the original office. in our chain, we have seven. to bring in some third-party that way is our current plan and our current policy. rep. lummis: well, before my time is gone, i want you to know we are going to be watching the national park service and the way that ms. martin and ms.
healy are treated, and the way other whistleblowers are treated as a consequence of their bringing these allegations forward. and we are going to be watching the national park service. because this should not be tolerated. it should not be unaddressed. and it has been in adequately addressed. and thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. chair chaffetz: thank the gentlelady. we now recognize the gentleman from the district of columbia, ms. holmes-norton. del. norton: appreciate this hearing, mr. chairman. mr. reynolds, we are very grateful for how the national park service runs most of our neighborhood parks. not just the mall, they are owned by the park service. i want to know if these two parts, where these allegations, these issues have come from, are the people quarter together?
or are these nationwide problems? mr. reynolds: congresswoman, could you clarify, are these unique problems? del. norton: to the western part of the united states, where these large parks have cabins. i don't understand whether or not the staff are quartered there, instead of going home, the way my own park service rangers do. mr. reynolds: right. 413 units nationwide. very diverse. del. norton: i'm talking about those western units. mr. reynolds: i would be happy to let ms. martin and mr. healy communicate, things can be exacerbated, much like military barracks, when you are living
and working together. del. norton: let me ask you both, do you live in the park where you are located? in cabins, men and women, how do you operate? those are the only parks i know of are the urban parks. mr. healy: many employees are housed on the south rim, but there are times when they are working out of bunk canyons in the backcountry. myself, i work in flagstaff, which is about an hour and a half drive away. del. norton: ms. martin? ms. martin: thank you, congresswoman. i do live in yosemite valley in a cabin. and a lot of our seasonal staff that is on our fire crew will be housed in say one house, or one bunk quarters. there are certainly opportunities there that could potentially lead to a hostile type of work environment, especially with our young folks. so, we do have close quarters that men and women do live and work in on a regular basis.
del. norton: we should caution the national park service to take such matters into account. mr. healy, i was reading your testimony on page eight, this is not going to the testimony, but alcohol and drug abuse, i'm interested in how this works. when i was chairman, i was not aware the contractors were treated any differently, but i do know that you said in your testimony you informed your concerns about misconduct were not consider when the contract was awarded. i suppose i should ask mr. reynolds why alcohol, drug abuse, sexual assault, are not harassment are not
considered. mr. reynolds: i would be happy to investigate. del. norton: i wish you would. mr. healy said he was concerned that his was not even considered, not even considered, that is what caught my eye. when the contract was awarded -- mr. reynolds: i would be happy to get to the bottom of that. del. norton: we would like to know whether they are considered generally, could you let the chairman know? mr. reynolds: for any on-duty period of contract performance, that should be standard language in any contract. to your point, when you are living 24 hours a day if you will on the river, that may be where we have some -- del. norton: mr. healy, there was a similar report 16 years ago about the systemic harassment of women. and there was specific recommendations made.
are you aware of that report? here we are 16 years later, are you aware of -- mr. reynolds: the women in law enforcement report? yes, i am. del. norton: when did you first become aware? and were any recommended and limited? mr. reynolds: no, they were not. as far as i can ever figure out, as the chairman actually mentioned, 30 different recommendations. i think things were worked on during that timeframe. i was not involved at the time. but -- del. norton: how can you be a short that with the recommendations either of this recommendation committee or the task force, working on full intimidation apparently did not occur, so we are back here 16
years later? mr. reynolds: it is a very regrettable action that did occur. del. norton: finally, mr. chairman, if i can ask, apparently in that report, 16.3% of the park service women in law enforcement, park rangers, what is the percentage of women in those positions today? mr. reynolds: i believe we have about 247 women in law enforcement out of about the force of 664. del. norton: so, do the math. mr. reynolds: i am not the best in math, but about 15%. del. norton: going down, not up. one of the first things that agencies and private sector does with this problem occurs is of course increase in number of women in law enforcement or in the applicable mission. thank you, mr. chairman. chair. chaffetz: i now recognize the gentleman from michigan, mr. walberg.
rep. walberg: thank you. i hope this is worthwhile for yourself, and the people that have spent many weeks in national parks, north, south, east, west, with my family doing the same thing, being out a glacier national park is august, impressive territories we have. impressive treasures we have, and every case, my experience has been one of great respect and professionalism by the staff. so, it is concerning to hear some of the behind-the-scenes. and though we deal with humans, yet these things have to be addressed. thank you for being here. ms. kelly, can you describe some newbacher'sndent behavior which prompted the investigation.
ms. martin: thank you, mr. congressman, for the question. myself personally, i have been chief at yosemite for the last 10 years. and the marker point for me was when we had the rim fire of 2013, and i happen to be off unit on another fire and returning. my duties have been to act as the agency administrator representative for the superintendent when we have large incidents in the park. i returned and told my supervisor i would be returning and i could assume those duties, and for whatever unknown reason, i was not allowed to perform those duties, that is part of my official duty as my job within the park. it was for myself personally discrediting my professionalism, and it was humiliating for me to not be able to perform that job and that function in front of my
peers, our inter-agency wildfire cooperators, and even our park internal staff, that i was not able to provide that leadership. rep. walberg: any rational reason given to you for that? ms. martin: no sir. rep. walberg: any reason at all? ms. martin: no, sir. rep. walberg: so it an arbitrary decision-making of the superintendent do not allow you to function? ms. martin: i requested to be up to split the duty between myself, and i have a very competent deputy fire chief. that took over two roles, both the agency administrator and the role of incident commander trainee. i am confounded as to why i was not able to truly perform in that role. rep. walberg: in your testimony, you mentioned the fear of retaliation for speaking about what is happening at the park. can you describe for us this
concern, and where it stems from, and are you aware of other employees that share the same concern? ms. martin: the fear of retaliation, the fear of coming forward is not in our culture to come forward and to describe ours is certainly dealing more with a hostile work environment. it's not dealing with sexual harassment. so that's not at issue right here. but people do not fear -- or do fear that they are not safe in bringing issues to management. and one of the concerns that i have heard is that within yosemite national park, we have a superintendent and our deputy superintendent position has been vacant for three years. so unfortunately, there's a concentration of decision making within one person and it's not necessarily shared within the
deputy superintendent and the superintendent. walberg: has that been done for a purpose, keeping it -- keeping the vacancy there? ms. martin: i'm unaware of why that would remain vacant for the last three years. walberg: do you believe the superintendent's actions to be an isolated incident? or are they reflective of a larger cultural problem wins the national park service? ms. martin: it's hard for me to address the larger cultural -- i have reason to believe that it probably is a larger cultural type of issue. i do believe that it is important for the image to be in house and for us to kind of take care of things in house and not be able to share these types of issues publicly. but i think it's very, very important for the women that are -- that have left, the women
that are currently there, to really understand in daylight what it is, what the behaviors that are exhibited that really truly cost people's integrity and a reduction in morale. rep. walberg: thank you for your testimony. i yield back. chair chaffetz: i have just a follow-up to that. mr. reynolds, there's two things the committee would like to see. you have been unwilling so far to give us the expedited inquiry into the yosemite situation. is that something you'll provide to the committee? mr. reynolds we did give your : staff, i think they call it an on-camera, not sure. chair chaffetz: in camera. mr. reynolds in camera, visible, : and i know your concern about it. i know we had some exchanging
correspondence. i'll continue to work with our folks on it. it is an active investigation, i guess is the short answer. i'm not unwilling to share with you data when i can. i just don't want to infringe -- chair chaffetz: something in your possession, and congress would like to see it, so can you name anything that we shouldn't be able to see? is there anything classified in there? mr. reynolds no, and i don't : disagree with your ability to get that. i'm just hampered. chair chaffetz: wait, don't disagree. you won't give it to us. mr. reynolds at the moment, : we're having conversations about how to do that. chair chaffetz: what's the conversation? mr. reynolds to keep -- to be : candid with you, to keep the investigative process as clean as we can while we're -- chair chaffetz: so you don't trust congress? we'll make it dirty? for public data purposes during an investigation. but i would -- i will pledge to you to continue to work. chair chaffetz: i want you to pledge it to give it to congress. mr. reynolds i understand that. :chair chaffetz: do you need a
subpoena? what do you need? who makes this decision? mr. reynolds it will be a : decision that i'll talk over with our solicitors predominantly. chair chaffetz: i would also like to see anybody who has been fired, dismissed, or retired from yellowstone since 2013. is that something you can give to us? mr. reynolds: yes, i can. chair chaffetz: when will you give that to us? mr. reynolds: i will give it to you within 48 hours. chair chaffetz: fair enough. thank you. we'll now recognize the gentleman from virginia, mr. cummings. i want to pick up where the gentleman left off a few minutes ago. this whole thing of retaliation and as i was listening to you, i couldn't help but think about the question of how doo you you
tackle a culture? it's not easy. and in the baltimore city police department, i asked for patterns and practice investigation. the reason i asked for it is because we had people in the department, good policemen, who knew the things were going bad and wrong, but they did not feel comfortable talking about it because they were worried that they would be retaliated against. their comrades would do some things that might be harmful to them. and when we got that patterns and practice report, it was ten times worse, ten times, probably 20, then i ever imagined with regard to african-american men and the way they were being treated by police. so, mr. healy, you said something that really kind of struck me, is that i feel as if
my career and possibly my safety and the safety of other grand canyon employees may be at some risk. that's a hell of a statement. and it's one that i feel pain that you even have to even think it, let alone say it. and the mere fact that you have said it in a public forum puts you even, i would assume, even in more jeopardy. one thing to think it, another to say it, another to say it in a public forum. what can we do to help? because as i see it, the culture that i talked about before, and i think that mr. martin is alluding to, and probably you too, is one that is, i mean, you almost have to dig deep and pry out probably a lot of folks.
and almost start over again. so i'm trying to figure out, what is your hope? i mean, what do you hope? the reason why i'm raising this is because, you know, in my opening, i talked about 16 years ago. guess what. most of these people weren't even -- none of them. none of these people were here 16 years ago except me. they weren't even here. so another group of congresspeople were addressing this supposedly. and yet, it has not been corrected. and the culture grows and metastasizes then and gets
worse. so you come here, and i want you -- i want you all to be effective and efficient. not only do i -- i know that you have your concerns about retaliation, about your comrades being all upset, but it would be a damn shame if you came here, you gave your testimony, and this is my great fear. and then was not effective and efficient in what you tried to do. that's a lose/lose, all the way around. you go back and they said, why did you do that? and then it gets worse. and so help me in looking at what you see, i think they said one thing, she talked about having more women in key positions and law enforcement and supervisory positions.
but what do you see? how would you like to see us try to break this culture? and do you have confidence, you made some complimentary statements, mr. healy, about some of the things you have seen being done, but then you came right back and talked about the negative impact of some of the positive things that were supposedly happening. so help us. help us help you. mr. healy: thank you. i think what would help is that if we can insure that these people who have come forward to me to ask for assistance in
reporting things are protected o the same extent that i am. i think in preparing for this testimony, i went back to some of these individuals that had bad experiences at the park, and i asked them to help me deliver that message here, and i heard a lot of fear from those people. you know, and there's -- there's individuals at the park who have, as i mentioned in my testimony, threatened people with violence, and they're still there. and i think holding those people accountable is a really good step. and i'm not really sure how congress can assist the park service in doing that, but that would be a good first step. and then the other thing you mentioned was you alluded to the shutting down the river district and the river contracting. those decisions were made, i'm not sure who made the decisions, but there was no consultation with folks on the ground doing the work like myself or my coworkers. that have experience and understand the risk in making some of those decisions.
and i think if the park service leadership were to more effectively engage its employees in developing solutions for these problems, we would go a long way. what about you, : ms. martin? ms. martin: i believe that we really have to start with the awareness of the culture that's been created over the years. and we have to really, like you said, we have to root it out. we have to really understand what's at the root of this type of culture and this type of behavior that then supports sexual harassment and hostile work environments. i think that's truly our first step, is awareness of the issues of how those behaviors actually ascend to these types of situations. cummings: now, ms. martin, i have been on the naval academy board of visitors for about ten years now.
and one of the things, we had a major sexual ruhas wlual harassment problem. and what woo found -- i'm going to something you said because i want to make sure i'm clear. a lot of the midshipmen were doing things that were harassment, and they claim and some of them i believe, some of them i'm not sure about, said they didn't even know it was harassment. i mean, can you comment on that? you said you talked about awareness. ms. martin: at some point, we have to create an environment that's open and transparent with our leadership to really be able to talk about these hard... right now, there is so much fear being able to communicate what that is. i see that as number one, the culture we have created, and
being able to communicate what it is the creates these types of situations. at that point, how do we best educate our employer so we do not have these issues five years from now. we have to think about this differently in terms of how we can be more communicative with our senior leaders. right now, that is the happening. cummings: i get frustrated because i know we're going to hear you say a lot of nice things about what you're going to do, and you know, but convince us that you get it. and that your folks get it, because i'm telling you, after these lights go out, and then they gotta go back.
they gotta go back. i mean, how do you assure them and people coming in to the service or want to come in the service or people who are there that they don't have to go through this crap? this is crazy. mr. reynolds: yes. first off, i will join you in protecting my colleagues. rep. cummings: how are you going to do that? mr. reynolds: the first thing i'll do is we really need to dive into the cultural issues as well as, if you will, the fundamentals. rep. cummings what about the : person who is watching us right now who is sitting there laughing and saying i can't wait until they get back? i got something for them. mr. reynolds: yeah. i'm going to hurt martin
them, i'm going to do something to them. how do you deal with that person? those people? because apparently, there are quite a few. mr. reynolds: we can't let those lights go off. we have to not have any darkness, right? it has to be very transparent from here forward. there has to be an accountability that everybody can see and touch. also, with our culture, we're trying to pull together some parts of our organization so, for example, we have never really had affinity groups in the national park service, women's groups or other employee groups that might come together, and we're trying to attempt to do that. in order for there to be a cohort who can be another protective kind of place that people, a safe place, if you will. also, for management, then to be required to lyon to those groups and those employees about what the concerns might be. chair chaffetz: i now recognize the gentleman from georgia. >> thank you, mr. chairman. you know, based on the actions of director jarvis, i think further oversight of the
national park service is desperately needed. this is actually my third hearing on this matter. as a part of oversight, we, of course, we're here in june, but also natural resources subcommittee. we were with director jarvis in may. and i want to thank ms. martin and mr. healy for your testimony this afternoon and what you have endured. the director reynolds, let me start with you. based on your testimony, i know that you're aware of the sexual harassment cases, specifically at cape canaveral, the operation there. can you tell me just how many complaints, total complaints came from there, even those that are ongoing or resolved cases? mr. reynolds: yes, congressman. i believe there's about three complaints, but i believe there might be a few more i.g. reports that i'll follow up on in confirmation with you. >> there's actually been four, and in fact, the "washington post" reported in early july that four investigations there
since 2012 is an unusually high number, they said, for such a small operation of national park service. and as you just mentioned, these are just the ones that we know about, as has been testified to today. people are scared. who knows how many other cases have been swept under the rug because of the culture of fear. during the time of these investigations since 2012, who was the superintendent in charge? mr. reynolds: in 2012, i believe it was superintendent palfrey. >> that's correct. i don't represent the good people of florida, but just yesterday, came across an article in the "florida today" and they reported like i said, just yesterday, that superintendent palfrey was promoted to the position of special assistant to the southeast regional director. are you aware of that? >> yes, sir. mr. reynolds: >> ok. and as she has been promoted, she gets to work at home. she gets comfortable, $116,000 salary. and you mentioned ip eded in your testimony a few moments ago
the chief ranger at cape canaveral was no longer at the location, but you failed to mention that the superintendent has received a promotion to the southeast regional director. do you know where the southeast regional director office is located? >> it's in atlanta, and if i could offer, sir, that -- >> no, let me go on. mr. reynolds: ok. >> it is in atlanta. that's in my backyard. and that raises a great deal of concern for me personally. you're also aware that director jarvis testified here in congress over a book deal where
he failed to secure proper permission for that book. you're aware of that? >> yes. >> and mr. chairman, you know, my point in all of this is the pattern that is clearly unfolding before us, obviously, under the direction of director jarvis, unaccountability, poor management, unsafe work environment, and that has permeated throughout the national park service. and what is the consequence from director jarvis?
i mean, he gets a mere slap on the wrist. he has to go through some silly monthly ethics training once a month, watch a video or something for the duration of his time. and so here is what people are getting at the park service. these type of slaps on the wrist and/or promotion. this is just insane. this is absolute insanity. and mr. chairman, on june 16th, i wrote a letter to the president, president obama, asking for the resignation of director jarvis, and i actually have a copy of that letter here that i would like to go in the record. mr. reynolds: without objection, so ordered. >> while i understand director jarvis is going to retire in january, what we have heard yet again here today and what continues to be prevalent in the national park service, i just want it on record that i stand by my position in requesting the immediate resignation of director jarvis, and with that, i yield back.
chair chaffetz: gentleman yields back. we'll now recognize the gentleman from verminute for five minutes. >> you know, the national park service is a great treasure. unbelievable. we have all been to the national parks. and i go every year, so it's pretty sad to hear about this. my experience as a visitor, as a hiker, is one of just enormous appreciation for the staff that i meet, from the bottom on up. it's really really quite wonderful. and my sense is that in general, there's just an enormous appreciation for the work that people do. and my sense, too, is people who work there, it's a way of life for them. they love the outdoors, they love nature. they lust theove the history and tradition. so it's very sad that also part of it is the situation that you all have been describing, but i want to thank all three of you, actually, for the work you have done and for coming forward. i'll start with you, mr.
reynolds. you know, the culture on this has to be in a way zero tolerance. and the culture in how employees are expected to work does come from the top. and that has to be imbued from the top down and then re-enforced in every way. so what concrete steps can you take to do that? if the leadership doesn't take this deadly seriously, then no one else will. mr. reynolds: we have to get this right. this has to be our top priority. one of the first things that i would like to do, i'm in day 52 here in this new job, so i'm just -- i found the bathroom, so now we need to get going on some very big focus through the chains of command. we'll be meeting next week with some of the field leadership, and i would like to be able to tell them at that point what we plan to do with a diversity and inclusion outfit that would be tied to my office. and that can start working on the cultural issues, because you're right.
we have some of the most outstanding public employees as these two represent and we have to give them that kind of management. >> yeah, but i don't quite know what that means, what you just said. i don't think it takes a big meeting. like look, folks. any unwanted advances just aren't allowed. i mean, how complicated is that? mr. reynolds: we have put out quite a bit of extensive refresher, if you will, and reminder and zero tolerance policy, but i agree with you and i think it needs to be a step further, which is actions. actions will be louder than words in terms of accountability. >> the action is, i think, all of the people in management have to meet with their staff, and they have to have a discussion and basically say it. it's not complicated. they have to say it and mean it. then on the other hand, we also want to get more women into leadership positions as well.
mr. reynolds: right. >> all right. chair chaffetz: will the gentleman yield? >> yeah, go ahead. chair chaffetz: what was your job before this job? what were you doing at the park service? mr. reynolds: the associate director for the work force. chair chaffetz: in charge of hr. don't leave him to believe you're in day 54 and i'm the new kid on the block. you have been running the hr department at the park service since 2014. so your words are a little bit hollow in your, hey, well, we have to do some refresher. and can you give me a single incident where you have -- you said you have a zero tolerance policy? are you kidding me? show me an example of zero tolerance. mr. reynolds: well, you know, first off, i understand your perception, and i have been dealing with revamping the whole systems and process of work force, haven't gotten there yet. we have a zero tolerance policy, and i guess my point is -- chair chaffetz: wait a second.
it's mr. welch's time, but you haven't gotten there yet? you have the job. when did you first take on the job in human resources? mr. reynolds: about two years ago. chair chaffetz: i know, but give me a month. mr. reynolds: april of '14. chair chaffetz: it's your time, but -- >> i appreciate your question. here's my view on this. we can have personnel policies and write down this and that and it can be 10 pages of 500 pages. none of it means anything other than what is the culture that people in that environment are expected to live by. and people respond much more to a re-enforced culture because it's the way it is, and that comes with the pride. it comes with a mutual respect. so give me all the policies in the world. but employees are not going to be thinking at the time they may want to do something they shouldn't be doing whether this is a violate of subsection 4 of article 5 in chapter 2. it's just going to be, we don't do that around here. and that, i really do think, is a top down responsibility.
just every single day in every way. and the reason i got a little nervous about your answer is that it suggested to me or this is the implication i have, which may not be true, but that if we write the right policy, that will take care of it. and you know what. we don't have to write anything and we can take care of it by having management make it clear that any unwanted advance is totally out of line. cummings: the gentleman
yield for one second. i know you don't have much time. i just have one question. when you were running hr, what does zero tolerance, what does that mean? because i hope it's not about writing a memo to do a refresher course. let me tell you something, the people watching this at the park serve, when they hear you say that, they say, oh, boy. we're in great shape. nothing is going to happen. and we'll keep doing what we have been doing. i'm just telling you. mr. reynolds: right. rep. cummings so tell us, for : all of us, so other people when they ask their questions will know what you meant when you were zero tolerancing. mr. reynolds: well, we need to have a much better fundamental set of profession -- rep. cummings: what does it mean when you were doing the job? mr. reynolds: it should mean that we -- rep. cummings: no, no, no, no, no. i'm asking you, you were head of hr, am i right? come on, now. mr. reynolds: the work force director. rep. cummings: all right.
all i'm asking you, the chairman talked about zero tolerance. that was your thing. all i'm asking you is what did that mean? the reason why i'm asking you this is because i'm trying to predict your future. i'm trying to figure out how you're going to act in this position. because they gotta go back. and if people listen to you, i'm going to write a little memo. i'm going to send them a refresher course. those guys are laughing at you like you are a big joke. and you know what happens. they get screwed. mr. reynolds: what it means to me -- rep. cummings what it meant to : you. what did it mean? then tell me what it means now. mr. reynolds: it meant to me to make the safest place we can for our employees. it meant they would have the ability to report that they would be protected. we have so far. we have. chair chaffetz: now recognize the gentleman from south carolina, mr. gowdy.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. reynolds, i want to say, you have managed to do something i have not seen done in the five years i have been here. a one of the more level headed, reasonable minded, one of the more decent human beings you will meet in public service, you have managed to even get him upset. getting mr. cummings and i upset is not as much of a challenge. getting peter welch upset is. and i think what upsets me is when you have a fact pattern of someone spying on another person when they are taking a shower, you don't need a policy change. and you don't need a new memo. you need handcuffs and a trip to the sex offender registry. that's what you need. so ms. martin, you said a couple things in your statement that resonated with me. you said it is a deep conflicted and risky decision for me to come forward and speak up today. and you said many women -- feel
shame and fear of coming forward to report misconduct and cannot bring themselves to be the ones who have the difficult and painful task of speaking up. here's what i want you to help me do. i want the fear and the difficulty and the pain to belong to the perpetrator. not the victim. so i want you to tell us as much about your fact pattern, your story, and i want you to stop and cite all those instances where something more could have been and should have been done. and do it on behalf of the women who maybe don't have the ability to speak up like you do. ms. martin: thank you, congressman, for this opportunity. it is a very painful and conflict conflicted position that i'm in right now. this happed,