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Investigative Report of Misconduct at the Grand Canyon River District

Report Information

Date Issued
Report Type
External Entity
National Park Service
At the request of the Secretary of the Interior, we investigated allegations from 13 former and current National Park Service (NPS) employees who had at various times worked in the Grand Canyon National Park’s (GRCA) River District. The 13 complainants submitted declarations describing incidents they had experienced or witnessed over approximately 15 years. They believed that these incidents, which they alleged were committed by River District employees during GRCA river trips, demonstrated evidence of “discrimination, retaliation, and a sexually hostile work environment.” Many of the incidents, they said, were reported to GRCA supervisors, but the supervisors did not properly investigate them or report them to NPS human resource (HR) or Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) representatives. In addition, two of the complainants, both former GRCA employees, had been disciplined by GRCA supervisors; the former employees believed that other employees had asked that they be disciplined because they had filed sexual harassment complaints in the past.
We found evidence of a long-term pattern of sexual harassment and hostile work environment in the River District. In addition to the 13 original complainants, we identified another 22 individuals who reported experiencing or witnessing sexual harassment and hostile work environment while working in the River District. We also confirmed that some of the incidents were reported to GRCA supervisors and managers but were not properly investigated or reported to HR and EEO. Although we did not discover evidence of prohibited personnel practices in the disciplinary and administrative actions taken against the two former GRCA employees, we found that some GRCA officials felt that the discipline they received was too harsh.
In addition to this report, we issued advisory memoranda to the NPS Director asking him to review and address two potential management concerns we discovered during our investigation: some GRCA managers compromised the privacy of some employees who had filed harassment complaints, and NPS rehired a former GRCA employee who had been disciplined for sexual harassment.
Joint Report
Agency Wide