A government police officer who pleaded guilty to attempting to make meth at a federal facility in Maryland was also having sex on the job, according to an ongoing investigation by a House committee.
Christopher Bartley, who worked as a police officer for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), tried to make methamphetamine at a facility in Gaithersburg, Maryland, in July causing an explosion.
The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology is investigating the incident, seeking badge records in the months leading up to the explosion. During the investigation, the Committee uncovered evidence of a "pattern of misconduct and mismanagement at NIST Police Services."
The committee learned that prior to the meth explosion, managers were aware that Bartley was having sex while on duty and promoted him anyway.
"[I]nformation recently obtained by the Committee appears to show a culture of waste, fraud, abuse, and misconduct at NIST Police Services that was not previously disclosed to the Committee during its investigation," wrote Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R., Texas) in a letter to the NIST on Wednesday. "For example, Officer Bartley allegedly had sexual relations with other NIST employees on agency property, in vehicles owned by the government, while on official duty."
"More troubling, it appears that agency officials were aware of Mr. Bartley’s conduct but failed to take appropriate disciplinary actions and even selected him as interim chief of police despite his misconduct," Smith said.
The committee also found evidence of rampant time and attendance fraud at NIST Police Services, including Bartley, who once claimed 84 hours of overtime in a two-week period.
In addition, "police equipment worth thousands of dollars is unaccounted for or missing from the police force," including listening devices.
Smith wrote to the NIST seeking building access records to the building where the meth explosion occurred between January and August 2015. The explosion happened on July 18.
"This Committee has a legitimate interest in the safety of NIST employees and ensuring that agency property is not used to produce illegal drugs," Smith said. The building access codes are essential to the Committee’s oversight."
Smith is pressing for the records after the NIST told the committee it could not turn over badge records because of an ongoing investigation with the Department of Commerce’s Office of Inspector General (OIG).
In addition to the building access records, the committee is also seeking correspondence related to Bartley’s promotion and performance evaluations, documents on the misuse of overtime, and missing police equipment.
"The American people expect the federal government to exercise responsible stewardship of their tax dollars," Smith said.