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Investigation Finds Lander Bullied Subordinates

A White House investigation has found that Eric Lander, the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, bullied subordinates in violation of workplace policies, Politico reports.

According to Politico, a two-month investigation uncovered evidence of "disrespectful interactions" between Lander and staff. In particular, the inquiry found he bullied Rachel Wallace his then-general counsel, it adds. Wallace, who is now deputy counsel, further alleges that Lander demoted her in retaliation, Politico says, noting that though the investigation did not concur her reassignment was improper, it did find that she was excluded from "meetings, conversations, and assignments."

Lander sent an apology email Friday night, Politico says. "I especially want to apologize to those of you who I treated poorly or were present at the time," Lander wrote, according to Politico. "It's my responsibility to set a respectful tone for our community. It's clear that I have not lived up to this responsibility."

Early on, President Joe Biden told administration appointees that he would not stand for a hostile workplace and would fire those who disrespected their colleagues, as Yahoo News reported at the time. However, Politico reports that Lander will be required to hold more collaborative meetings with staff, that all staff will have to undergo workplace training, and that there are to be follow-ups with Lander after 30 and 45 days to see if his conduct has changed.