Government Watchdog Calls on VA State Bar to Investigate HHS Official, Scott Lloyd, for Violating Rules of Professional Conduct

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 26, 2017

Contact: Daniel Stevens, dstevens@campaignforaccountability.org, 202.780.5750

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Campaign for Accountability (CfA), a government watchdog group focused on public accountability, called on the Virginia State Bar to investigate whether Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) Director Edward Scott Lloyd violated the Virginia State Bar Rules of Professional Conduct.  Mr. Lloyd deliberately violated the U.S. Constitution and other federal and state laws to prevent unaccompanied pregnant immigrant minors from obtaining abortions.

Read the complaint here.

CfA Legal Counsel Katie O’Connor said, “As a lawyer, Scott Lloyd is required to use the law for ‘legitimate purposes and not to harass or intimidate others.’  Mr. Lloyd, however, violated the constitutional rights of pregnant immigrant minors and disobeyed court orders protecting their rights.  The Virginia State Bar should investigate and discipline Mr. Lloyd for violating his profession’s code of conduct.”

In March, President Donald J. Trump appointed Mr. Lloyd to be the Director of ORR.  Shortly after his appointment, Mr. Lloyd began zealously enforcing a new policy to make it as difficult as possible for unaccompanied pregnant immigrant minors, many of whom do not speak English, and some of whom he has prevented from consulting with legal counsel, to obtain abortions.

In some cases, Mr. Lloyd personally contacted girls in shelters around the country and forced them to receive “counseling” at so-called “crisis pregnancy centers,” which offer biased, misleading, and inaccurate information about abortion, and frequently proselytize in an attempt to dissuade women and girls from having abortions.  Mr. Lloyd also directed shelter staff to notify the parents and immigration sponsors of girls about their pregnancies despite requests that the information be kept confidential.

The ACLU is pursuing a class action lawsuit against Mr. Lloyd and ORR for its actions.

Mr. Lloyd’s actions appear to have violated the U.S. Constitution, the Anti-Deficiency Act, state contempt law, and the terms of a settlement agreement that lays out the rights of unaccompanied immigrant minors.  Virginia bar rules prohibit interfering with the administration of justice, but Mr. Lloyd appears to have done just that.

Click here to read our complaint to the HHS Inspector General regarding Scott Lloyd.

Ms. O’Connor continued, “Mr. Lloyd abused his position to harass powerless teens in order to promote his personal ideology. His blatant disregard for the law calls into question his ability to fulfill his role as an attorney. The Virginia State Bar should investigate immediately.”

Campaign for Accountability is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, nonpartisan watchdog organization that uses research, litigation and aggressive communications to expose misconduct and malfeasance in public life and hold those who act at the expense of the public good accountable for their actions.