House Oversight Committee Expresses “No Confidence” in DEA Administrator Leonhart

Press Release April 14, 2015
Media Contact

<h2 class="subtitle">
Contact:</h2>
<p>Tony Newman 646-335-5384<br />
Bill Piper 202-669-6430</p>

Today, members of the House Oversight Committee have issued a statement of “No Confidence” in Drug Enforcement Administrator Michele Leonhart. The unprecedented move by a group of over twenty bipartisan lawmakers comes a day after her shambolic performance in Congress during a hearing focused on DEA agents who paid for sex workers and sex parties using taxpayer dollars.  Leonhart was widely panned and her answers deemed inadequate during testimony on her agency’s handling of sexual harassment and misconduct allegations.

“This ought to be the final nail in the Leonhart coffin,” said Bill Piper, Director of National Affairs at Drug Policy Alliance. “I cannot see how President Obama and AG Holder allow her to continue in her role. It’s hard to think of a more incompetent and out of touch federal official than the current DEA chief.”

The call to dismiss Leonhart comes against a backdrop of scandals and incompetence at the DEA, which have dominated Leonhart’s tenure. Some of the more egregious incidents during Leonhart’s tenure include:

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) have previously called on Leonhart to resign, with Polis commenting that he "found her to be completely incompetent and unknowledgeable."

“Her time is up,” said Bill Piper. “Leonhart has clashed with Republicans, Democrats, the White House, and civil society leaders. She reflects an outdated approach to the drug war that President Obama claims he wants to leave behind.”

Learn more about the recent scandal and the corrupt history of the DEA on the DPA Blog: The DEA “Sex Scandal” is Not About Sex – It’s About Corruption and Impunity in the War on Drugs

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

Sign up for updates from DPA.

en_USEnglish

4/20 MATCH!

Your $1 becomes $2 to power the urgent fight to end marijuana prohibition and repair the harms of the drug war. Don’t miss your chance to fight for justice!