(PresidentialHill.com)- On Monday, President Joe Biden’s top science adviser Eric Lander tendered his resignation after an internal investigation found that he bullied lower-level members of staff and created a toxic work environment for dozens of people who worked in the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
It comes after the investigation concluded that he would publicly humiliate other members of staff.
Christian Peele, the deputy director of management and administration for personnel, announced the results of the investigation. He said that they had discovered “credible evidence of disrespectful interactions with staff.” In a 20-minute briefing, he also explained how Lander spoke “harshly and disrespectfully” to members of staff in front of their colleagues, and that multiple women had complained about having negative interactions with him during work.
It raised eyebrows when the report first came out as Lander was not fired, despite President Joe Biden promising as soon as he entered the White House that anyone in his administration found to be bullying others would be “fired on the spot.”
“I’m not joking when I say this – if you’re ever working with me and I hear you treat another with disrespect, talk down to someone, I promise I will fire you on the spot,” he said on January 20, the day of his inauguration. “On the spot. No ifs, ands, or buts.”
Well, Lander was not only not fired, he wasn’t “fired on the spot” either. Instead, he tendered his resignation after the White House was forced to conduct an investigation into something that everybody already knew was happening.
So, Biden was joking when he said that.
In a letter to the president, Lander said that it had been a “great honor” to serve his administration.
“I am devastated that I caused hurt to past and present colleagues by the way in which I have spoken to them,” he concluded his resignation letter.