State Department won't fire Benghazi 4, but will reassign them
POSTED: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - 7:26am
UPDATED: Sunday, August 25, 2013 - 8:53am
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Four State Department workers who were put on leave after last year's attack on a U.S. mission in Libya will be allowed to resume work, but in different positions, a senior State Department official told CNN on Tuesday.
The official said Secretary of State John Kerry has affirmed an earlier report's findings that no one should be fired for the Benghazi mission attack in September, which killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
But the sanctioned State employees -- put on leave after an Accountability Review Board report in December found bureaucratic failures at State in the run-up to the attack -- will be reassigned to different jobs in the department, the official said.
The employees' fate has been a point of interest for lawmakers who've accused the Obama administration of not bolstering security before the attack and of botching the response to it.
Congressional Republicans in particular are pressing for a continued investigation, saying they want to know why repeated and specific warnings about the Benghazi security situation didn't prompt the State Department to send more security help or order the Benghazi mission closed.
The four workers were placed on leave after the Accountability Review Board in December reported that it found a series of State Department failures at several levels, but found no negligence.
In May, 15 members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee wrote a letter to Kerry demanding to know what actions were being taken against the four. Kerry had told the panel in April that he would review their status.
Kerry ordered senior members of his team to review the board's report and studied the workers' careers -- and as a result, Kerry decided that no one breached their duties or should be fired, the senior State Department official said Tuesday.,
The Benghazi incident involved scores of militants using rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons against a U.S. diplomatic compound and a nearby predominantly CIA-run annex.
CNN's Evan Perez, John King, Elise Labott, Jamie Crawford and Jason Hanna contributed to this report.
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