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New Capitol Police inspector general selected

David Harper has worked as an inspector general in Florida and New Mexico

The Capitol Police flag flies in front of the department headquarters in 2020.
The Capitol Police flag flies in front of the department headquarters in 2020. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Capitol Police will have a new internal watchdog, a few months after the department’s current inspector general said he would leave the post because of family health reasons.

David Harper, a vice president in charge of fraud prevention at Hanscom Federal Credit Union, will assume the role next week, sources familiar with the decision told Roll Call.

He previously worked as the inspector general of Florida’s Department of Financial Services and the inspector general for Albuquerque, N.M., according to a bio dated 2020 that was posted on the website of the Association of Inspectors General.

The Capitol Police Board, composed of the Senate and House sergeants-at-arms and the architect of the Capitol, made the selection, according to the sources. The inspector general’s office is charged with conducting audits, investigations and other oversight of the department.

Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger in a written statement welcomed the arrival of Harper. “We are looking forward to meeting the new Inspector General. I will ensure he has our full cooperation, so that we can continue to improve our growing Department and expanding mission,” Manger said.

Current Capitol Police watchdog Ron Russo’s tenure has been short — he assumed the role on Jan. 29, 2023 — and he told staff in September that he would leave the position but has stayed on until a successor is named.

Lawmakers on the House Administration Committee were concerned when, during a 2023 hearing, Russo acknowledged some of the recommendations issued by his predecessor after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol were marked done but not fully completed. In response to pressure from the public and lawmakers, Russo’s office released several redacted inspector general reports that previously had not been publicly accessible.

Russo and Harper both worked as inspectors general in Florida’s state government.

Harper began his career in the Air Force in 1976, according to his LinkedIn profile. He became a special agent for the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations in 1981 and investigated complex financial crimes against the government, including public corruption, fraud and embezzlement.

He worked for that special investigation unit for 34 years and was promoted to special agent in charge in 2005 and then chief of the economic crime desk in 2008, where he oversaw staff across the globe for an office involved in more than 500 financial crime investigations, according to his profile.

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