From Fox News: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos did not make “active or extensive” use of her personal email accounts to conduct official business, according to an internal watchdog inquiry long pushed by House Democrats that concluded with a whimper on Monday.
Congressional Democrats for months have aggressively pursued a variety of probes into DeVos, who has frustrated liberal lawmakers by embracing deregulation and methodically dismantling the Obama administration’s education platform.
But this particular review largely came up empty, with the Education Department’s Office of Inspector General saying it searched the department’s email system and found only a “limited” number of messages to or from DeVos’ personal accounts.
In total, the watchdog 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.
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.
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.
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