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Senior HHS official allowed back on the job after review of inflammatory social media posts

A senior official at the Department of Health and Human Services returned to work this week after being placed on adm...

Posted: Mar. 7, 2018 12:30 PM
Updated: Mar. 7, 2018 12:30 PM

A senior official at the Department of Health and Human Services returned to work this week after being placed on administrative leave following a CNN KFile report that he made inflammatory comments and spread unfounded conspiracy theories on social media.

Jon Cordova, who serves as the principal deputy assistant secretary for administration at HHS, pushed baseless claims on his social media that Gold Star father Khizr Khan is a "Muslim Brotherhood agent" and made unfounded claims about Sen. Ted Cruz's sex life, among other controversial comments.

Following KFile's report two weeks ago, the department placed Cordova on administrative leave while the matter was investigated.

A spokesperson for HHS told CNN's KFile in a statement that he had apologized and returned to work. News of his return was first reported by Politico.

"While none of the posts cited by the CNN report appears to have been created by Mr. Cordova since joining HHS last year, he has acknowledged that he may have allowed the heat of the political campaign to undermine his better judgment, resulting in posted content by him that may have inadvertently offended many," HHS spokesman Ryan Murphy said. "Mr. Cordova has expressed sincere and deep apology for those statements and for any harm or injury he may have caused to readers of any of his social media posts. While he continues to work at HHS, Mr. Cordova -- along with all department employees -- will be expected to demonstrate a full commitment to inclusiveness and respect for all Americans that we serve."

In his role, Cordova oversees day-to-day operations for the Office of Human Relations, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Office of Security and Strategic Information, Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance and Operations Office and the Program Support Center, according to his biography posted on the HHS website.

A department spokesperson said no complaints had been received through usual department channels since Cordova joined the Department in December 2017.

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