DEI Office In Biden’s VA Is ‘Hostile, Toxic’ With Rampant Sexual Misconduct, Internal Probe Finds

Managers at Veterans Affairs DEI office sexually harassed subordinates
Left: Deputy Assistant Secretary Harvey Johnson, the VA's top DEI official. Right: His chief of staff, Archie Davis (Department of Veterans Affairs). Center: A statue of the iconic V-J kiss photo that was banned by the VA for being non-inclusive (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
Left: Deputy Assistant Secretary Harvey Johnson, the VA’s top DEI official. Right: His chief of staff, Archie Davis (Department of Veterans Affairs). Center: A statue of the iconic V-J kiss photo that was banned by the VA for being non-inclusive (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)

The Department of Veterans Affairs office dedicated to rooting out racism and harassment is itself a “hostile, toxic work environment with a permissive culture of rampant gossiping and innuendo,” where multiple layers of top officials participated in and covered up sexual harassment, an internal agency review concluded.

At one point, a senior manager fired a mid-level manager because both men wanted to sexually harass the same employee. When a complaint was filed, a political appointee sat on it, apparently partly for racial reasons.

The 125-page report paints a shocking portrait of the 400-person diversity office, in which employees spent much of their time filing complaints against each other instead of serving veterans. Employees engaged in “self-aggrandizing,” petty turf wars, and planned wasteful events, including one junket in which nine people travelled to dispense “diversity” training that was supposed to have been done by one person.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Harvey Johnson, the leader of the Office of Resolution Management, Diversity & Inclusion (ORMDI), retired when confronted with evidence of his department’s behavior, as well as allegations that he had swept misconduct “under the rug.”

Archie Davis, the ORMDI Chief of Staff, has been moved to a different office pending discipline after the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection (OAWP) concluded that he “engaged in misconduct of a sexual nature with a subordinate employee, including while he was in her direct chain of command,” “sexted’ with a different subordinate employee,” covered up allegations against colleague, and a slew of other infractions.

The findings come as the VA has made some of the most bizarre and inflammatory “diversity” moves in the Biden administration — including an attempted ban on the iconic photo that celebrated victory over Japan in World War II, and a new policy that could tamper with medical assessments to deny benefits to white suicidal veterans in the name of racial equity.

ORMDI is tasked with harassment prevention, equal employment opportunity, and diversity and inclusion for the VA, yet “the very office tasked with enforcing” such things itself engaged in wanton harassment and bizarre racism, according to the OAWP report, which was dated January 26 and obtained by The Daily Wire.

A female employee provided OAWP with messages showing that after meeting chief of staff Davis for the first time in early 2023, he began sending her flirtatious texts and copying her on emails in which he bullied subordinates, seemingly to boast of his power and to show what could be in store for her if she did not cooperate.

Western Region Supervisor Gary Richardson was also sexually harassing the same employee. She said that he would hound her on Microsoft Teams with personal chatter as they worked, and that he told her when she was not available, he would stare at her photo “to get my fix.” When she travelled to D.C. for work, he told her he had a “pass” from his wife and pressured her to go out with him.

And on March 2, Davis recommended that Richardson be fired for it, writing that “the predatory electronic messages should be sufficient to present Gary with the option of resignation of retirement in lieu of removal.”

“Good morning Sexy!… Ain’t just attracted to your curves and those physical attributes that cause men to holler at ya. Your bold, audacious disposition and your alpha female demeanor are equally a turn-on for me.”

This was seemingly not because he, as Davis wrote, “breach[ed] that sacred line,” but because he was competition. Nine days later, Davis himself texted the employee: “Good morning Sexy! … Ain’t just attracted to your curves and those physical attributes that cause men to holler at ya. Your bold, audacious disposition and your alpha female demeanor are equally a turn-on for me.”

Davis subjected her to messages such as one that said, “I wanna make you lose your mind. When I’m thumping your clit with my tongue and you grab my head, I’ll keep it right there til you shiver and quiver and beg me to pound you,” according to screenshots obtained by The Daily Wire.

On another occasion, he sent her porn and texted her at 4:43am, “I hope you like it early in the morning. Often I imagine how good it will be to roll over on top of you and start the day by filling you up.”

The victim said that Davis “would always try to persuade me with money,” such as free trips to D.C., and told her “once you get on his bad side, you will feel his wrath.”

By July, when the woman was still not receptive, Davis got snippy, saying, “We’ve been talking for a year and I have been clear on my interest… My intent was to have it all with you.” Soon after, she became the subject of his chest-thumping bureaucratic missives, with him writing to her, “any further attempts to extend your official travel at this conference beyond August 10, 2023 will be viewed as further insubordination and will be dealt with as such.”

Six complaints resulted in little reform, with the victim eventually reaching out directly to VA Secretary Denis McDonough, who did not respond. “With Harvey and Archie being in a position of power… I felt like it wasn’t going to go nowhere,” she said.

Davis’ misconduct “was so wide-ranging, pervasive, and widely known” that ORMDI Deputy Assistant Secretary Johnson “either knew or should have” known about it, yet he continued to give Davis “outstanding” performance reviews, OAWP said.

When Johnson received a complaint about “erratic behavior” by Davis impacting “the safety of staff,” he did not take any documented action. It recommended that Johnson have his previous bonuses clawed back so he could not simply evade accountability by retiring with a pension.

The diversity office’s day-to-day actions seemed to have virtually no bearing on the wellness of veterans. The report said that ODMI is responsible for the “Diversity and Inclusion Program” which travels across the country to conduct “technical assistance reviews (TARs),” which VA policy says “may be composed of one or two members.” ORMDI would add employees to these junkets for trivial purposes such as taking notes or the be “extras.”

One employee said it was “fraud, waste, and abuse. You know, we had — I kid you not — maybe eight, nine people on this TAR that was [sic] sittin’ around.”

Another employee alleged that even though ORMDI had 400 employees, it hired outside contractors to do actual work.

The VA diversity office was so chaotic that investigators from another agency, the US Postal Service, were called in to address their many complaints against each other. While some complaints showed severe misconduct, others evidenced bizarre, adolescent dysfunction or were petty, high-school style gossip.

Employees often gossiped about whether the purpose of their many junkets was for particular employees to have sex with each other, and filed complaints based on sniping and rumors.

Some sexual activity in the DEI office was consensual. One employee was happy that chief of staff Davis called her his “big brown sugar,” told him she wanted to “suck him dry,” and asked him about anal sex.

Rep. Juan Ciscomani (R-AZ) said that VA officials explained a delay in convening an investigation in part because they thought someone could only be investigated by a person of the same race.

Secretary McDonough acknowledged receiving an email from a whistleblower about the scandal, but said he could not recall his response clearly. The employees remained on the job even after House VA Committee Chair Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL) wrote to him about it because he did not read the chairman’s letter, despite congressional correspondence being part of his daily briefing.

“I don’t read the letters tab every day. And I’ve just ignored it,” McDonough said. “That is one of the things that really bothers me about it, and I saw no other way to address it than to just come clean.”

Gina Grosso, the Assistant Secretary for HRA/OSP, failed to take prompt action, explaining to OAWP that “there were so many complaints at once, and it took time to figure out who was the grieved, and it’s several things on my plate — on the plate. I don’t think I have any other great explanation, honestly.”


Grosso, a political appointee of Joe Biden, announced her resignation the day after Congress raised the issue.

“The sheer volume of complaints arising in ORMDI should have put [Human Resources and Administration/Operations, Security, and Preparedness] leaders on notice of the dysfunctional situation in ORMDI, but HRA/OSP leadership failed to take sufficient actions,” it said, referring to the human resources department that houses the DEI office.

In a February 14 congressional hearing, Secretary McDonough said although a whistleblower contacted him about the issue, he didn’t remember it, and it didn’t get his attention when Bost wrote to him about it, because “I’ve just ignored” letters from Congress.

“The person who failed here is me,” McDonough told the committee. “This behavior suggests a real culture issue in ORMDI.”

The report concluded that “given the systemic deficiencies and failures documented in this report, VA must take immediate action to restore VA employees’ trust in ORMDI.”

The VA did not return a request for information from The Daily Wire.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  DEI Office In Biden’s VA Is ‘Hostile, Toxic’ With Rampant Sexual Misconduct, Internal Probe Finds