FOIA Update
December 1, 2021

Transmitted: December 1, 2021

To: Nicholas Podsiadly, General Counsel, Legal Division, FDIC

Full Request: FDIC FOIA Appeal (PDF)

Re: Freedom of Information Act Appeal, FDIC FOIA Log Number 21-0262


Empower Oversight filed an appeal to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Inspector General (FDIC-IG) decision on a FOIA request seeking documents to explain the excessive delays in an investigation into misconduct at the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of Inspector General (FHFA-OIG).

The FDIC-IG, which conducted an investigation into whistleblower retaliation an other misconduct at the FHFA-OIG, erroneously refused to confirm or deny the FHFA-OIG investigation. That response was improper because the inquiry was not criminal. Moreover, given that the matter was of significant public interest, Empower Oversight seeks a reversal of this decision and the release of the requested documents.

In August, Empower Oversight filed several FOIA requests to numerous agencies, including FDIC-IG, to obtain documents that would explain the years of delay in the investigation into misconduct by several officials, including FHFA Inspector General Laura Wertheimer.  The Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) eventually found Wertheimer’s misconduct justified discipline up to and including removal. The delays were inexplicable, and the public has a right to know why its government failed to take action earlier to protect whistleblowers within the inspector general community.

If you have first-hand information you’d like to disclose to assist Empower Oversight with these inquiries, please contact us confidentially here.