Having trouble receiving FOX 17? Click here:

Feds: DeVos used personal emails for work in ‘limited’ cases

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 28: U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos testifies during a Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee discussing proposed budget estimates and justification for FY2020 for the Education Department on March 28, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

(AP) Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has sometimes used her personal email accounts for government business and has not always properly saved the messages, according to an internal investigation released Monday.

The agency’s Office of Inspector General, which was investigating at the request of House Democrats, said it searched the department’s email system and found a “limited” number of messages to or from DeVos’ personal accounts. In total, it said there were “fewer than 100” emails linked to four personal accounts.

Most of the emails were from the first six months of 2017, soon after DeVos took office, and most were from a single person, the inquiry found. The person, who was not identified in the report, was writing to recommend candidates for agency jobs. Other emails were from people who congratulated DeVos on her confirmation or offered other job advice.

In total, investigators said they identified six emails sent by DeVos on private accounts, including five that involved official agency business. The inquiry concluded that there was no evidence of “active or extensive” use of DeVos’ personal accounts.

The secretary’s office told investigators it was taking “additional steps to identify and preserve” emails in her personal accounts. A department spokeswoman declined to comment for this story.

Under department rules, employees are forbidden from using personal emails for government business except in rare circumstances when their work accounts are unavailable. In those cases, employees are required to forward the messages to their work accounts within 20 days. But in DeVos’ case, the report said, that never happened.

“We did not identify any instances where the secretary forwarded emails from her personal accounts to her department email accounts,” the report said. It added that “the secretary’s emails related to government business were not always being properly preserved.”

The inspector general’s office urged the department to improve its training on the issue. It said there was no other evidence of irregularities around the use of personal emails.

During his 2016 campaign, President Donald Trump repeatedly attacked Democratic rival Hillary Clinton over findings that she used a private email server for work while she was secretary of state. At rallies, Trump often called for her prosecution and led supporters in chants of “lock her up!”

The Education Department review was requested in October 2017 by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn. The inspector general’s office said it was unable to begin work until “well into 2018” because of staffing challenges.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

5 comments

  • rg

    It was ok for Hilary to use peronal servers for tens of thousands of emails. Fewer than 100 should be ok for Devos.

    • steve

      And, RG. if I were concerned about national importance and security, I’d be a hell of a lot more concerned about the e-mail screw ups of the Secretary of State than those of the Secretary of Education.

  • BP

    She’s not destroying servers. Bleach bit. Smashing cell phones. Yep it’s wrong. Doubt she has a ton of State secrets . Some SAT scores..

  • We the people

    I think we should just take away their computers so this doesn’t happen again.
    That’s what they want to do to us, take away all our freedom’s.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.