NEW YORK: One lady carried a ruler at FBI headquarters so she might smack James Hendricks‘ arms when he reached for her legs and breasts. Another went dwelling shaken after he tugged on her ear and kissed her cheek throughout a closed-door assembly.
And when Hendricks went on to guide the FBI’s area workplace in Albany, New York, in 2018, colleagues described him as a “skilled predator” who leered at ladies within the office, touched them inappropriately and requested one to have intercourse in a convention room, in line with a newly launched federal report obtained by The Associated Press.
Hendricks quietly retired final 12 months as a particular agent in cost after the Office of Inspector General – the Justice Department’s inside watchdog – concluded he sexually harassed eight feminine subordinates in a single of the FBI’s most egregious identified instances of sexual misconduct.
Hendricks was amongst a number of senior FBI officers highlighted in an AP investigation final 12 months that discovered a sample of supervisors avoiding self-discipline – and retiring with full advantages – even after claims of sexual misconduct in opposition to them have been substantiated.
The FBI stated it couldn’t talk about Hendricks‘ case however that it “maintains a zero-tolerance policy toward sexual harassment and is committed to fostering a safe work environment where all of our employees are valued, protected and respected.”
Hendricks, 50, who now writes a regulation enforcement weblog, didn’t reply to messages in search of remark. He informed investigators his accusers had both misinterpreted his actions or exaggerated his habits, and that he was not sexually drawn to them.
“It’s an ugly, ugly laundry list of things that were said, and that’s really hurtful to me and it really just disappoints me,” he was quoted as saying.
The particulars of Hendricks’ sexual harassment – outlined in a 52-web page report obtained underneath the Freedom of Information Act – haven’t beforehand been reported. The OIG blacked out Hendricks’ title within the report, however he was recognized by regulation enforcement officers acquainted with his case.
Drawing on interviews with greater than a dozen FBI officers, the report traces Hendricks’ harassment to his time at FBI headquarters, the place he served as a bit chief within the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate. He was tapped in 2018 to guide the Albany area workplace, the place he supervised greater than 200 brokers and different FBI workers. Six of his accusers have been in Albany; two have been in Washington.
Some colleagues chalked up Hendricks’ habits to his being a “Southern gentleman” – he served as a police officer in western Kentucky earlier than becoming a member of the bureau in 1998 – however others stated he routinely crossed the road, turned “super giddy” round ladies and was “incapable of stopping himself” from harassing them.
Co-workers informed investigators he surrounded himself with a “harem” of enticing ladies, was fixated on excessive heels and breasts, and was identified for gawking at feminine brokers as they walked down the hallway.
In workplace conversations that concerned ladies, Hendricks would shift his “body posture and head angle to stare at their breasts and bodies in a manner that was calculated to avoid detection,” the OIG report says. Male and feminine brokers alike informed investigators they endured this “as a condition of simply interacting with their boss.”
Even Hendricks’ male colleagues thought-about him “creepy” and one described how he simulated masturbation as soon as when a beautiful lady left the room. But like many feminine brokers, they didn’t report him for concern of retaliation.
Hendricks as soon as requested a feminine subordinate to sit down within the passenger seat of a car “so that I can play with that beautiful hair.” He later requested the identical lady why she did not put on shorts to the workplace and she or he stated “because that would be inappropriate.” The lady stated she did not report Hendricks as a result of all of her work required his approval and “she wanted to be successful in the office.”
Another lady informed investigators that Hendricks pressured her into having a sexual relationship, and that he had been identified to be vindictive and “push out” individuals who crossed him.
“He was in a powerful position,” the report says, “and she worried about what he would do if she did not respond to his advances.”
FBI coverage permits supervisors to pursue sexual relationships with subordinates however requires them be disclosed so administration “may determine whether remedial action, such as reassignment, is necessary to prevent interference with the FBI’s mission.”
The Office of Inspector General, nonetheless, stated “the imbalance of power between superiors and subordinates could call into question the consensual nature of romantic or intimate relationships.”