WASHINGTON – FBI Director Robert Mueller (search) has given the head of the bureau's internal discipline unit a supervisory assignment outside Washington, three months after rebuking the official for his conduct toward a whistleblower.
The transfer of Robert Jordan from the Office of Professional Responsibility (search) to special agent in charge of the Portland, Ore., division was announced by Mueller in a routine news release posted to the FBI's Web site Monday.
FBI officials had no immediate comment on the reason for the new assignment.
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the chief Senate critic of the internal discipline office under Jordan, said he looked forward to "reforms that will end the double standard in discipline and ensure that high, consistent standards of integrity apply to all FBI employees."
Mueller rebuked Jordan in late March for inappropriate conduct toward John Roberts, a subordinate in OPR who had criticized the FBI on national television.
The director took further action in May, ordering a review of the office that investigates employee wrongdoing and administers discipline. Roberts contended the office had dual disciplinary systems for supervisors and field agents, an accusation Jordan denied.
Mueller, who hand-picked Jordan for the internal discipline assignment, said in the transfer announcement that Jordan "re-engineered the office and greatly streamlined the disciplinary process within the FBI."
Jordan joined the FBI in 1980, and has served in Boston, Newark, N.J., and San Diego. He participated in several successful public corruption investigations and previously headed the bureau's national public corruption program.
In October, Roberts said in a television interview that rank-and-file FBI workers received harsher discipline than senior managers. He appeared on the show with the FBI's permission.
Jordan later passed over Roberts for promotion, an action that Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine (search) said left the impression of retaliation. Jordan also failed to respond appropriately to disparaging e-mails about Roberts from other FBI officials and discussed the television interview at a staff meeting on a day Roberts was not at work, the inspector general found.
Mueller sent Jordan a letter of criticism, rejected a proposed bonus and ordered him to receive counseling and training on the appropriate response to whistleblowers. The director began a continuing evaluation of Jordan's record to determine whether the lapses were isolated incidents or part of a broader problem.
In announcing the review of the Jordan-led office in May, Mueller said: "FBI employees must trust that allegations of wrongdoing will be thoroughly investigated and that discipline will be appropriate and fair regardless of the assignment or seniority of the employee involved.
"The public must also have confidence that the FBI is holding its employees to the highest standards of professional conduct."
Mueller said the review was partly a response to "an erosion of trust" in the discipline office. Griffin Bell, attorney general under President Carter, and former FBI executive Lee Colwell are leading the inquiry.
Grassley and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, had asked that Jordan be punished. Grassley had asked Mueller why Jordan should remain as head of the internal disciplinary unit.