As a federal employee, it can be frightening to learn that you are the subject of an investigation. Federal employee investigations can lead to disciplinary or adverse action, and your job, your career, and your retirement could all be at risk. You will have the opportunity to protect yourself if you act promptly, and seeking the representation of an experienced federal employment attorney is the best way minimize the consequences of your investigation.
At Melville Johnson, P.C., we are aggressive advocates for federal employees facing job-related investigations. Having handled thousands of disciplinary and adverse action cases from the agency level all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, we know what is at stake in these investigations, and we know the defenses that work to protect federal employees. From procedural deficiencies to lack of evidence, if there is a way to protect you from suspension, termination, or removal, we will pursue all available options for preserving your federal career.
Federal employee investigations can result from a wide range of allegations. Usually, employees are given very little information about the investigation, and it is not until the process moves forward that they gain a clear understanding of the accusations against them. In most cases, investigations arise out of alleged misconduct such as:
- Attendance and time card issues (including absence without leave)
- Criminal prosecution
- Discrimination or harassment
- Falsification or lack of candor
- Misuse of government assets (such as a computer, credit card, travel card, or vehicle)
- Prohibited personnel practices
- Security violations
When you hire Melville Johnson, P.C. for your federal employee investigation, one of our first steps will be to determine the specific allegations against you. From there, we will build and execute a comprehensive defense strategy designed to protect you to the greatest extent possible.
“[The attorneys at Melville Johnson, P.C.] exhibited the utmost ethical standards. . . . Their prompt action and skillful handling brought results. I found them to be trustworthy, knowledgeable, and very professional [and] I would recommend them highly and without reservations to my family, friends, or anyone else who needs a good lawyer.” – Verified Review by a Federal Employee
Answers to FAQs about Federal Employee Investigations
Q: Why am I being investigated?
Federal employees can face investigations as a result of a few different factors. One reason you may be the subject of an investigation is due to an anonymous complaint by a coworker or contractor. Or, you could be facing an investigation as a result of suspected improper conduct on the job. Federal employees can also face investigations due to off-duty criminal arrests.
Q: What agencies conduct federal employee investigations?
Employing agencies can conduct their own employee investigations, with supervisors, human resources personnel, and agency investigators all potentially involved in the process. However, federal employee investigations can also involve, Internal Affairs, the Office of Inspector General, or other outside agencies. Knowing which agency (or agencies) are conducting your investigation is critical to building an effective defense.
Q: What is a Garrity statement?
A Garrity statement is a written document that investigators often ask federal employees to sign early in the investigation process. The Garrity statement says that you are agreeing voluntarily to answer the investigator’s questions and that you are waiving certain rights in the process. Before signing a Garrity statement, it is critical to discuss your rights with an attorney.
Q: What is a Kalkines warning?
In some cases, investigators may issue what is known as the Kalkines warning. Unlike a Garrity statement, the Kalkines warning requires federal employees to answer questions during their investigation. Although truthful answers given pursuant to a Kalkines warning cannot be used in a criminal case, they can form the basis for disciplinary or adverse action.
Q: What if my investigation leads to discipline or adverse action?
If your federal employee investigation leads to discipline or adverse action, this does not mean that your case is over. Our attorneys can review your case to determine if you have grounds to file an appeal with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) and if so we can vigorously represent you in the appeals process. If the MSPB rules against you, we can take your case to federal court.
Are You Being Investigated? Contact Melville Johnson, P.C. Today
If you are facing a federal employee investigation, or if you are concerned that you may be under investigation, it is critical that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible. To schedule a confidential consultation with one of the federal employment lawyers at Melville Johnson, P.C., please call (888) 846-7844 or contact us online today. We represent federal employees nationwide.