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Eric Holder warns DOJ personnel not to solicit prostitutes

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 04: Attorney General Eric Holder delivers remarks about the Justice Department's findings related to two investigations in Ferguson, Missouri, at the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building March 4, 2015 in Washington, DC. Holder delivered the remarks for an audience of department employees who worked on the investigations after a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, sparking weeks of demonstrations and violent clashes. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

Attorney General Eric Holder has sent a memorandum to all Justice Department personnel warning them not to solicit prostitutes.

The memo, dated Apr. 10, warns employees, "The solicitation of prostitution threatens the core mission of the Department, not simply because it invites extortion, blackmail, and leaks of sensitive or classified information, but also because it undermines the Department's efforts to eradicate the scourge of human trafficking."

Holder goes on to say, "I want to reiterate to all Department personnel, including attorneys and law enforcement officers, that they are prohibited from soliciting, procuring, or accepting commercial sex," and, he wrote that the rule applies "at all times," "including while off duty or on personal leave."

Employees who violate the ban could be suspended or terminated, and the prohibition applies to Justice Department contractors, subcontractors and also to grant recipients.

CBS News' Paula Reid confirmed the existence of the memo, first reported by the Washington Post.

Justice Department spokeswoman Emily Pierce said in a statement to CBS News that Holder's memo comes after the inspector general's recent report about the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents who participated in sex parties paid for by drug cartels.

The attorney general, Pierce said, has "directed the department's Office of Professional Responsibility to undertake a review of the procedures used by DEA's professional responsibility office and make recommendations on how to improve the investigative and disciplinary processes for all allegations of misconduct at DEA."

CBS News Justice Department reporter Paula Reid contributed to this report.