A story was published in Bloomberg News earlier this week that includes statements by several former AFGE staff and officers alleging misconduct by National President Cox. AFGE respects all of its employees and takes the allegations that have appeared in the press very seriously. These allegations, if true, are abhorrent to all of us and contrary to AFGE’s mission and values.
When AFGE learned of the new allegations contained in the article, the Federation took immediate action. President Cox was informed of the allegations, and he immediately authorized an investigation, from which he simultaneously recused himself. In accordance with the AFGE Constitution, the issue was then put to Legal Rights Committee of AFGE’s National Executive Council which authorized the hiring of an independent, outside investigator. This was done to ensure that an investigation would move forward quickly and to ensure the integrity and transparency of the investigation. This also ensures that the investigation will be conducted in a manner consistent with our union's values; that it be fair, impartial, and free of bias.
On October 27, 2019, J. David Cox informed AFGE’s National Executive Council that he would be taking a leave of absence from AFGE as provided in Article IX., Section 11 of the AFGE constitution. Per that same provision, National Secretary-Treasurer Everett Kelley will perform the duties of National President during his absence. This action will reinforce the integrity of the investigatory process and ensure that this matter does not distract AFGE from the important challenges facing our members.
AFGE’s greatest assets are our membership and our staff. Today, we communicated our anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy to all employees, as we have done in the past, to ensure each employee understands the policy and the avenues available to them to address such behavior particularly in light of the recent news report. We are wholly committed to a thorough, fair, and expeditious investigation that will move forward in a way that’s consistent with AFGE’s values and ensures a safe, open working environment for all of our employees. We must do that at the same time we remain focused on the major battles facing our members at the worksite, at the bargaining table, and on Capitol Hill.