Posted on August 2, 2018

FEMA Personnel Chief Harassed Women, Hired Some as Possible Sexual Partners for Male Employees, Agency’s Leader Says

Lisa Rein, Washington Post, July 30, 2018

The personnel chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency — who resigned just weeks ago — is under investigation after being accused of creating an atmosphere of widespread sexual harassment over years in which women were hired as possible sexual partners for male employees, the agency’s leader said Monday.


Online records show Coleman was a senior executive who was paid an annual salary of $177,150.

Corey Coleman

{snip} Starting in 2015, investigators said, Coleman hired many men who were friends and college fraternity brothers and women he met at bars and on online dating sites. He then promoted some of them to roles throughout the agency without going through proper federal hiring channels.

Coleman then transferred some of the women in and out of departments, some to regional offices, so his friends could try to have sexual relationships with them, according to employees’ statements during interviews with investigators.


Long [FEMA Administrator William “Brock” Long] is a Trump appointee who has served in his role for 13 months. FEMA officials said the DHS inspector general’s office had received complaints about Coleman in 2015 and referred them back to the agency to investigate. {snip}

Many of the men and women Coleman hired were unqualified yet are still at the agency, officials said. {snip}


The preliminary investigation, completed Friday, found that an official described as the former chief component human capital officer had sexual encounters with two subordinates, one in 2015 and the other in 2017 continuing into this year. FEMA officials confirmed this person was Coleman.

Both women accompanied him on work trips, but one had few official duties on the trips. When the first woman ended the relationship, Coleman pressured her for dates — then denied her a promotion and tried to fire her, she told FEMA investigators. She said she kept her job by telling him she might be willing to go on dates with him again, according to the preliminary report.

When the second woman said she wanted to leave FEMA, Coleman created a new position for her for which she admitted to investigators she was unqualified. He also allowed her to sometimes work from his house, the report said.


Coleman was hired at FEMA in 2011 as deputy personnel chief from the U.S. Secret Service, where he was chief human resources officer for the information technology department.


{snip} Coleman was sidelined to other offices at FEMA on three separate details for months at a time.

“And each time, he was allowed back to his job,” Long said.