A Consumer Financial Protection Bureau political employee who drew fire for racist blog posts is leaving the bureau, according to an email obtained by Bloomberg Law.
Eric Blankenstein, a policy associate director overseeing the CFPB’s supervision and enforcement division, will depart the CFPB for a new job on May 31, according to the internal email sent May 15.
Blankenstein, who was put into that position by former acting Director Mick Mulvaney, faced criticism from consumer advocates, Democratic lawmakers and even some CFPB colleagues after pseudonymous blog posts he wrote in 2004 emerged last year. Those blog posts included claims that most hate crimes reported by minorities were hoaxes and questioning whether using the “n-word” was racist.
Current CFPB Director Kathleen Kraninger said that the bureau would review those blog posts, but she kept Blankenstein at the bureau. He took part in Kraninger’s listening tour, sitting in on meetings with industry representatives, consumer advocates and civil rights groups, according to multiple sources.
Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee, blasted Kraninger for allowing Blankenstein to resign rather than firing him in a series of tweets.
“Allowing him to resign is a serious moral and managerial failure that sends a signal to consumers that the CFPB will look the other way when it comes to discrimination,” Brown said.
In his email to colleagues, Blankenstein said it had been a “privilege” to “further the Bureau’s [sic] mission of protecting consumers.”
“In my time here, I have come to appreciate the hard work and dedication SEFL team members bring to their work, and I am confident that will continue under Kathy’s leadership,” the email said.
Blankenstein’s email made no mention of the blog posts. Blankenstein could not be reached for comment.
Representatives for the CFPB did not respond to requests for comments.
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(Updates with comments from Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and the date Blankenstein announced his resignation)