The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is the worst government agency of all time according to many. There have been calls by American citizens for a long time to de-fund the DEA. A lot of stories have been published lately describing some of the misconduct that goes on within the agency, the most famous of which was the stories about DEA participating in sex parties with prostitutes paid for by cartel leaders in South America.
Misconduct happens way more than the DEA would ever like to admit. But even when it does occur, very rarely does anything happen to the DEA agent(s). They go on paid administrative leave (the federal bureaucrat version of a paid vacation), and usually come back to work after they have enjoyed their time off. It sounds like even the ones that do get fired get their jobs back more often than not. Per USA Today:
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has allowed its employees to stay on the job despite internal investigations that found they had distributed drugs, lied to the authorities or committed other serious misconduct, newly disclosed records show.
Lawmakers expressed dismay this year that the drug agency had not fired agents who investigators found attended “sex parties” with prostitutes paid with drug cartel money while they were on assignment in Colombia. The Justice Department also opened an inquiry into whether the DEA is able to adequately detect and punish wrongdoing by its agents.
Records from the DEA’s disciplinary files show that was hardly the only instance in which the DEA opted not to fire employees despite apparently serious misconduct.
Of the 50 employees the DEA’s Board of Professional Conduct recommended be fired following misconduct investigations opened since 2010, only 13 were actually terminated, the records show. And the drug agency was forced to take some of them back after a federal appeals board intervened.
Is there anything that a DEA agent can get fired for automatically? What is completely off limits for a DEA agent? Because it seems to me as an outside observer that as long as you don’t get caught, you can do whatever you want, and even when you get caught, you just say whatever you were doing was work related, and people can’t really ask questions. On the rare occasions that all of that doesn’t work, DEA agents just take their paid leave and if they are terminated, just appeal it and get your old job back sooner than later. That’s unacceptable. It’s no mystery why there is no confidence in the DEA right now. De-fund it altogether.