Fox News reported that shortly after taking office last year, President Joe Biden warned members of his administration that he would fire, “on the spot,” anyone caught mistreating or disrespecting others.
Despite that promise, Biden failed to remove a senior administration member even after a two-month investigation concluded that the official had engaged in serious levels of workplace harassment.
According to The Daily Wire, White House deputy director of management and administration for personnel Christian Peele found that Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) director Eric Lander was responsible for a pattern of abuse.
“The investigation found credible evidence of instances of multiple women having complained to other staff about negative interactions with Dr. Lander, where he spoke to them in a demeaning or abrasive way in front of other staff,” Peele concluded in January.
Still, The Washington Times noted on Monday that this was apparently not considered egregious enough to warrant Lander’s dismissal.
“Nothing about his behavior is acceptable to anyone here at all,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at a briefing on Monday. “Quite the opposite.”
“Senior White House officials conveyed directly to Dr. Lander that his behavior was inappropriate, and the corrective actions that were needed,” she continued.
“But there is now a process in place that was not in place at the time to evaluate and determine what the next steps should be taken in the event that any behavior like this occurs, to prevent it from happening in the future,” Psaki added, stressing, “That is exactly what happened in this case.”
Lander steps down
The Times stated that Lander’s duties included heading up the new cancer initiative that the president revealed last week, as well as promoting the use of COVID-19 booster shots.
However, Fox News announced just one day after Psaki’s statement that Lander had chosen to tender his resignation.
“I am devastated that I caused hurt to past and present colleagues by the way in which I have spoken to them,” Lander said in a statement.
He added: “I believe it is not possible to continue effectively in my role, and the work of this office is far too important to be hindered.”