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FDIC Chairman Gruenberg Called Out By Sen. Kennedy Over Sexual Misconduct Claims

Alright, everyone, here’s a story about the FDIC taking a thrashing over inappropriate behavior under FDIC Chairman Gruenberg’s watch.

Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana was in top form for this one.

He was using his sharp wit to make an example out of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Martin Gruenberg.

The focus?

A recent report revealing widespread misconduct within the FDIC’s workplace culture.

And yet, Gruenberg still claims he’s the right man for the job.

One particularly disturbing complaint involved a female employee who reported persistent stalking and harassment, even receiving an unsolicited and lewd picture.

Kennedy didn’t hold back, and it was great to see.

The Western Journal reports:

Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana was at his best, using his sardonic wit to destroy Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Martin Gruenberg during a hearing on a recent report detailing widespread misconduct within the agency’s workplace culture.

The hearing before the Senate Banking Committee was initially called to broadly oversee financial regulators, but the explosive revelations in an independent report by law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton took center stage.

The report described a hostile FDIC environment marred by stalking, harassment, homophobia, and other violations based on over 500 employee complaints, according to ABC News.

Nearly one-tenth of employees reported incidents of misconduct through the law firm’s tip line, indicative of a “misogynistic,” “patriarchal,” “insular,” and “outdated” workplace environment, according to the report, the Daily Caller reported.

Among the complaints cited in the report was a female employee who stated she was persistently stalked and harassed by a male coworker, even after reporting his behavior, per ABC. Additionally, a female field examiner reported receiving an unsolicited and inappropriate picture showing a senior examiner’s genitalia.

Sen. Kennedy expressed incredulity at Gruenberg’s assertion that he is the right person to lead the agency’s cleanup efforts.

“Mr Gruenberg have you ever heard the expression, ‘a fish rots from the head down?’” he asked, pointing out in his acerbic style that the leader of an organization is culpable for the behavior of his employees.

“Do I understand you, sir, that you believe you’re the person to clean up the FDIC?” Kennedy asked, to which Gruenberg answered affirmatively.

“Do you also believe that Elvis is alive?” Kennedy shot back.

“Do you also believe in bigfoot?” he asked.

The senator warned Gruenberg that he would be too preoccupied defending himself in court to effectively address the agency’s issues. “You’re not going to be able to clean up the FDIC because you’re going to be too busy defending yourself in court,” Kennedy stated, promising to introduce legislation extending the statute of limitations to allow every employee of the FDIC to file lawsuits over the reported abuse and discrimination.

“You’re going to be spending all your time in court,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy went on to point out that the Cleary Gottlieb report had some very critical things to say about Gruenberg himself.

“It says that even your senior leaders feel ‘disrespected, disparaged and treated unfairly’ by you,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy went on to quote the report, which stated that Gruenberg’s “long tenure and reputation for losing [his] temper and bullying people ‘presents unique challenges’” for him to change the agency.

“Did you read that part?” Kennedy asked Gruenberg.

Drawing a sardonic comparison, Kennedy declared, “You fixing this agency, Mr. Gruenberg, is like asking, it’s like asking Alec Baldwin to conduct a course in gun safety.”

“You ought to be ashamed of yourself,” he said.


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