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The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) is part of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) that is responsible for investigating attorneys employed by the DOJ who have been accused of misconduct or crimes in their professional functions. The OPR promulgates independent standards of ethical and criminal conduct for DOJ attorneys, while the DOJ's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has jurisdiction of non-attorney DOJ employees.
OPR receives reports of allegations of misconduct made against DOJ attorneys from many sources. Nearly half of all such allegations are reported to OPR either by DOJ sources, such as the attorney involved. The remaining complaints come from a variety of sources, including private attorneys, defendants and civil litigants, other federal agencies, state or local government officials, judicial and congressional referrals, and media reports. OPR gives expedited attention to judicial findings of misconduct.
OPR reviews each allegation and determines whether further investigation is warranted. The determination is a matter of investigative judgment that weighs many factors, including the nature of the allegation, its apparent credibility, its specificity, its susceptibility to verification, and the source of the allegation. A decision to open a matter does not give rise to a presumption of misconduct, nor shift the burden of proof to the accused person. OPR's investigations involve a wide range of allegations, and the investigative methods used vary accordingly. In many cases, OPR notifies the accused attorney and requests a written response. Sometimes, OPR also makes on-site investigations. OPR reports the results of the investigation to the component head concerned and to the Office of the Deputy Attorney General. OPR also advises the complainant and the accused attorney of its conclusion.
OPR and White CollarEdit
In White Collar the OPR, via Special Agent Garrett Fowler and his Operation:Mentor, is investigating Agent Peter Burke. Fowler's role (and therefore that of the OPR) is more Internal Affairs-like in that it seems to be investigating the conduct of personnel within the FBI, namely Burke. The investigation is central to one of the core mysteries of the series and as of the end of Season 1, the true nature of the investigation is not fully known.