WASHINGTON (Christian Examiner) – U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder sent a memo April 10 warning all Department of Justice employees—but specifically naming "attorneys and law enforcement officers"—they "are prohibited from soliciting, procuring, or accepting commercial sex."
The memo comes on the heels of a report released by the DOJ Inspector General about "sex parties"—with prostitutes provided by drug cartels—attended by at least seven Drug Enforcement Agency agents in Colombia from 2005-2008.
Because of poverty, prostitution is widespread throughout Colombia and it is legal in certain designated "tolerance zones," according to GVNet.com, which addresses human trafficking issues.
But Holder said the issue was not just about the legalities of prostitution but how such conduct reflects on the Department of Justice, and, the threat to the agency's mission because of the possibility of "extortion, blackmail, and leaks of sensitive or classified information."
He also emphasized that the behavior undermined DOJ programs aimed at eradicating "the scourge of human trafficking."
Soliciting prostitution "creates a greater demand" and a "consequent increase in the number of minor and adult persons trafficked into commercial sex slavery," he wrote.
Moreover, he said the prohibition was in effect during the entirety of "an individual's employment" with the agency.
Whether "off duty or on personal leave," he said the restriction applies, and he extended the prohibition to cover such places where prostitution may even be "legal or tolerated in a particular jurisdiction, foreign or domestic."
The umbrella policy applies to employees as well as "contractors and sub-contractors, grant recipients and subgrant recipients, and cooperative agreement holders."
Any violators are subject to suspension or termination, and, Holder said that supervisors and managers will be disciplined "for failing to report suspected violations."