Former ATF Director Told Staff to Help Nephew With Homework

The man who stepped down recently as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ordered his staff to help with his nephew's high school homework, wasting the agency's time and resources and violating ethics rules, a Justice Department inquiry concluded Wednesday.

The nephew's project — a documentary about the ATF that took 10 months to complete — was one of a half-dozen examples of lapses in judgment Carl J. Truscott committed before he resigned in August, according to the report by Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine.

The report found that not only the high school project demonstrated mismanagement by Truscott, whose employees accused him of wasting federal funds, taking pricey trips and creating a hostile work environment.

Still, investigators described themselves as troubled by Truscott's leadership, hiring practices and financial decisions, including his plans to spend $100,000 on gym equipment for the ATF's new headquarters.

The most damning conclusions were saved for the homework episode.

"Significant ATF resources were used to assist Truscott's nephew on a high school project," the report found.