CFPB Enforcement Director, Caught Up in Racist Scandal, Announces Departure

The Director of Supervision, Enforcement, and Fair Lending at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, who last year came under fire for racist comments he made under a pen name 15 years ago, has announced he is leaving his position at the Bureau.

Eric Blankenstein, who joined the CFPB last year as a political appointee of then-Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, was one of the highest-paid workers at the Bureau, earning more than $260,000 in salary.

Blankenstein initially rejected calls to resign after his comments were uncovered last year, even after employees at the CFPB voiced their displeasure about his continuing to work at the Bureau. In the posts, Blankenstein claimed that most hate crimes were hoaxes and questioned whether using a racial slur was inherently racist.

Blankenstein admitted when the posts were uncovered that his writing reflected “poor judgment,” and did not reflect the views he held about racism today.

Mulvaney backed Blankenstein while he was Acting Director, but Blankenstein received less than the full-throated support of new Director Kathy Kraninger, even though she chose not to let him go.

Blankenstein did not indicate where he would be going upon leaving the CFPB.

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