From: Otis Willie
Subject: Five Minority FBI Agents Sue Agency
Organization: The American War Library
NNTP-Posting-Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2002 17:27:47 EDT
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2002 21:27:47 GMT
Five Minority FBI Agents Sue Agency
(EXCERPT) Thu Sep 26, 9:26 PM ET, by VERENA DOBNIK, Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) - Five minority FBI ( news - web sites) agents have sued
the agency, saying racial bias interfered with their work on probes
including the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The agents were pursuing leads on the attacks when their supervisor
complained they were spending too much time out of the office,
according to the complaint filed Wednesday in federal court in the
District of Columbia.
"White agents were not subject to the same scrutiny," said their
attorney, Ronald Schmidt.
The complaint says the agents' supervisor in the New York office
constantly asked them to account for their whereabouts, even while
they were undercover.
A spokesman for the FBI in New York, Joseph Valiquette, did not
respond to a request for comment Thursday. Another spokesman, Mike
Kortan, told The New York Times that the agency wouldn't comment on
the case, but said "any allegation of discrimination or retaliation is
taken seriously and acted upon."
The agents — Wilfred Baptiste, Kendall Hobson, Paul Sutherland, Nathan
Tucker and Carlos Luquis — investigate organized crime, terrorism and
espionage. Four are black; one is Hispanic.
In a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller III and several lawmakers,
the agents said their images were posted on a board usually reserved
for pictures of criminals or suspects, with a caption that called them
Schmidt also said that while several of the agents were credited with
important arrests, they did not receive the usual cash awards or
letters of commendation.
They are seeking up to $300,000 each for emotional distress, other
harm and back pay, and want the court to bar the FBI from continuing
to discriminate against them.
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