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Federal employees are individuals working for the federal government. Examples of these employees include members of the armed forces, politicians, legislative staff, in civil servants. These employees are subject to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigation. An IOG agent calls the federal employee for an interview. The federal employee is given a warning on the statements he or she will make in the interview.
If you are a federal employee and under investigation, two things might happen. You could either be charged over a criminal case or the administration take action against your job. It is the job of the OIG agent to investigate both situations because they are slightly different.
An IOG agent gives a federal employee two types of warnings. These warnings provide information about the IOG investigation and what is going on with the federal employee. The first warning is called the Garrity warning, while the other one is the Kalkines warning.
The most familiar warning in law enforcement is the Miranda warning. It’s a warning given before an interview, and you have the right to remain silent as anything you speak can be used against you in the court of law. You also have the right to a lawyer, and in case you cannot get one, the law provides one for you. Miranda warnings should be read carefully when the police arrest someone.
Federal employees are in a different category when it comes to law enforcement. The OIG agent schedules the interview compared to other civilians that sit in a police station the booking.
Garrity warning was named after a case in the supreme court Garrity V. New Jersey. Garrity warnings have different versions. One aspect is where you are required to answer all questions asked. You should provide any information requested by the investigators to assist in the investigation. Failure to answering all the items will give you disciplinary action. According to the supreme court decision in Garrity V. New Jersey, information collected from your statement is not used against you in a criminal proceeding.
You should avoid discussing this investigation with any other person apart from your attorney and chain of command. You can be terminated from employment when you violate this order because it is regarded as an act of insubordination.
The other aspect is where you provide information voluntarily in an interview.
You don’t have to answer questions that may implicate you in a crime. You do not receive any disciplinary action when you refuse to answer questions. Your silence of refusing to answer some questions may be used as facts in the administrative proceeding. Be careful in the statement you provide because it is used as evidence in the criminal case in question and administrative proceedings.
The OIG agent may choose to use or fail to use a federal employee’s information in a criminal case. For federal employees worried about administrative action and criminal cause, they should avoid speaking to the OIG agent.
The Kalkines warning has advice rights to the federal employees during an internal investigation. This warning compels the federal employee to make a statement or face disciplinary action. The disciplinary action could be up to dismissal.
It is the OIG agent that questions you in the administrative investigation. Here you are asked questions on your official duties. Take time before answering these questions because they may be used against you. You may face disciplinary action that includes dismissal if you fail to answer questions thoroughly. The complete answered questions provided might not be used against you in the criminal proceeding. The only time this information can be used is when you give the wrong statements.
Kalkines warning applies when the OIG agent has already talked to a prosecutor to make decisions of a criminal case out of other factors and not the investigation. Kalkines warning grants an interview with the OIG agent. This is a condition necessary to secure your employment. If not, you can be fired or disciplined. Kalkines warning provides an employee’s constitutional rights and helps the IOG agents effectively conduct an administrative investigation.
Contact us today at Spodek Law Group for guidance and counsel on the procedures required in such situations. We have worked with several clients who have received positive results. With over 50 years of experience, you can be assured of our services.
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