Admitting Terror, Part 3

Florida INS director Dan Cadman fooled Congress; then his bosses promoted him

Justice officials found that Cadman had presided over meetings in which the conspiracy was planned. On the day of the visit, Cadman, reportedly red-faced with anger, threatened to arrest two INS inspectors who tried to alert the representatives about the whitewash. Cadman even called airport police.

Cadman's cover-up efforts began after the OIG started its investigation. "Cadman did not deny that large numbers of aliens had been transferred and released from Krome," Bromwich wrote in his report. "However, Cadman essentially represented that all alien movements were normal in light of Krome's overcrowded condition." That explanation, investigators determined, wasn't true.

Rather than cooperate with investigators, Cadman forced the Justice Department to obtain subpoenas to access his computer files. When the OIG finally gained access to Cadman's computer, all his e-mails relating to the delegation's visit had been deleted. According to the OIG report, "In his interview, Cadman stated that as a matter of consistent practice he contemporaneously deleted his electronic mail messages shortly after responding to them. In searching his e-mail, however, we did find some of Cadman's messages from June 1995 -- which was inconsistent with Cadman's representation to us."

In an expensive and time-consuming process, investigators were eventually able to locate 61 messages that had been sent or received by Cadman regarding the congressional visit, many of which helped the OIG prove that the officials had purposefully deceived Congress.

"On the basis of evidence gathered in this investigation, we believe the appropriate punishment for Miami District Director Walter Cadman falls within a range from a 30-day suspension to termination of employment," the OIG concluded. "Should he not be terminated, we urge his reassignment... to a position where he would not have significant managerial responsibilities."

After Cadman's removal from Miami, he virtually disappeared into the INS bureaucracy. Then on March 4, 1997, Rep. Harold Rogers (R-Kentucky) held hearings on Kromegate, trying to find out how Cadman and his cohorts were punished. Rogers grilled then-Attorney General Janet Reno:

Rogers: I need to know what happened to the people. Let's get to the bottom line here. What happened to the people that misled the Congress? Name the names, and where are they now?

Reno: Dan Cadman elected a voluntary demotion to GS-15, criminal investigator in headquarters ops.

Rogers: Where is he now?

Reno: I cannot tell you precisely.

Rogers: Is he still working?

Reno: He accepted a voluntary demotion, sir, so I would assume he is still working.

Rogers: He's a Justice Department official, correct?

Reno: So far as I know, sir.

Rogers: He misled the Congress, still works for the Justice Department. Who else?

When Reno told Rogers that Cadman and other Kromegate officials went through a legal process to maintain their jobs, Rogers shot back, "We want to protect their rights. I'm also protective of the people's right to have truthful federal employees reporting truthfully to their people's representatives. And when they lie to the Congress... and they maintain their employment with the Justice Department, people have a right to be suspect.... How can we make policy when our own officials are misleading the people like that?"

Roughly a year later, in 1998, INS promoted Cadman to head the newly formed National Security Unit. "This is a case where truth is stranger than fiction," says Rep. Gallegly. "And I think this explains in some way what is wrong with INS."

« Previous Page
My Voice Nation Help