Confessions in Federal Court
Federal employees to be subjected under the investigations by Inspector General or an OIG agent calls federal employee for an interview. During the interview with an OIG agent, a federal employee is given a warning. The warning concerns the statement they make.
When a federal employee is under investigation, there are two things to worry about. These two things include the possibility of a criminal case and the possibility of administrative action taken against the employee or job. The agents investigate both, but they are a little different.
A federal employee who sits down with an OIG agent gears two types of warnings. The differences between these warnings are crucial because they say a lot the ongoing investigation by the OIG and the employee. The first one is known as a Garrity warning. It is named after the Supreme Court case Garrity v. New Jersey. The second is a Kalkines warning which is named after Kalkines v. United States – a case from the Court of Federal Claims. Those who have heard of a Miranda warning are familiar with law enforcement interview.
When you are given a Miranda Warning, you are informed that you have a right not to say anything. You are also told that if you speak anything, it can be used against you. You also have the right to hire a lawyer and you are told if you cannot afford, a lawyer is provided for you. Miranda Warnings should be read in instances like when police arrest someone. They should also be read when the police do something close to arresting someone.
When OIG agents schedule for an interview with a federal employee, it is different from when they are at the police station where they have been booked. However, OIG agents have powers when it comes to the job for the federal employee. So if an OIG agent comes to interview the federal employees, they feel that they do not have the right to refuse. The employee may not know the rules relating to the interview, and he/she may be scared when being questioned by the OIG agent and she may fail to ask.
Garrity warnings should fix such a problem. One of the versions of a Garrity warning can be this:
You are asked to give information as an integral part of an administrative investigation or internal investigation. The interview is voluntary, and it is not a must that you answer the questions if you feel they may show that you are involved in a crime. If you refuse to answer the questions, you cannot be punished, but your silence may give evidentiary value. Your silence can be considered in your case during the administrative proceedings. If you choose to answer the questions, you should know that they can be used against you during the proceedings.
The federal employee who hears the Garrity warning learns that the OIG agent may or may use the employee’s statement in a criminal case. But if the employee is worried that he/she may not be careful enough when talking to the OIG agent, he/she can choose not to speak.
Kalkines warnings are not the same. One version of a Kalkines warning is like this:
You are being interviewed as part of an administrative /internal investigation. You will be asked various questions relating to your duties as an employee. You must respond to these questions in the best way possible. If you fail to be truthful and answer all the questions completely, it can lead to disciplinary action which can also include a dismissal. The answers you give can be used against you in the internal proceedings. But not part of the information you provide and answers you give can be used against you in a criminal case. It can only happen when you willfully and knowingly make false statements.
Ideally, a Kalkines warning should be issued after an OIG agent consults a federal prosecutor. The federal prosecutor makes decisions not to use the things being investigated on a federal criminal case. The downside of this warning is that you have to comply with an OIG agent and answer all the questions entirely if the warning they issue is on your employment. If you refuse, they may either fire you or discipline you.
Federal employees can be investigated for criminal prosecution. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) is responsible for investigations. The investigation by OIG is useful because it helps in the prosecution of those who do wrong. Before the interview, the investigator states the rights of the employee. They may be the right to be represented by the union, getting legal counsel and remaining silent among others. It is crucial for an employee to understand these warnings that the employee hears before an interview. Understanding them helps when the Office of Inspector General is questioning a federal employee. Visit this site where you can get more information and useful resources.