WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) on Wednesday criticized the Coast Guard’s failure to adequately respond to harassment and bullying at the United States Coast Guard Academy and for attempts by senior Coast Guard leaders to cover up and avoid accountability for those responsible. In addition, Murphy criticized Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Schultz for failing to appear before the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security and Oversight Committees to discuss how the U.S. Coast Guard is addressing sexual harassment and bullying.

“Over a year ago, I demanded that Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Schultz hold responsible the Academy officers who harassed, bullied, and attempted to cover up their actions. By refusing to appear at today’s hearing, I fear that the Coast Guard is telegraphing that it does not treat this issue with the seriousness it deserves. We must reaffirm our commitment to protecting the women and men at the Coast Guard Academy by making sure this kind of abusive behavior isn’t tolerated,” said Murphy. “The Coast Guard must immediately implement the House Report recommendations on harassment, bullying, and retaliation. I will continue to insist on full transparency and holding those Coast Guard officers accountable for their actions.”

In June, following an OIG Whistleblower Retaliation Investigation and other reports of bullying, harassment and retaliation at the United States Coast Guard Academy, Murphy wrote a letter to Admiral Schultz asking for a tougher response to reform the Academy’s climate of bullying, harassment and retaliation. In his letter, Murphy also raised the issue of underrepresentation of minority and female faculty at the Coast Guard Academy, and requested that Admiral Schultz give a higher priority to addressing and reforming the way the Coast Guard handles complaints of bullying, harassment and retaliation against female and minority members specifically. In June 2018, Murphy along with U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Joe Courtney (CT-02) wrote to Admiral Schultz seeking information on racial disparities at the Coast Guard Academy.