As they combat allegations that Connecticut FBI brokers retaliated in opposition to staff for whistleblowing, federal authorities officers are refusing to launch particulars of a authorized settlement with a particular agent and asking a choose to throw out one other worker’s lawsuit.
Particular Agent Kurt Siuzdak’s lawsuit, filed in 2014, uncovered allegations of inside strife and dysfunction inside the FBI’s most important Connecticut workplace in New Haven. It additionally disclosed a 2013 go to to the New Haven workplace by then-Director James Comey, who apologized to staff for “the failure of the FBI’s government administration to right the management failures” in Connecticut.
Siuzdak’s lawsuit was reported settled in court docket paperwork filed in March, however the FBI and Justice Division have declined to launch the main points and rejected latest requests beneath public information legal guidelines by The Related Press for a replica of the deal. Officers would say solely that there was no admission of wrongdoing within the settlement.
Federal officers are actually battling one other lawsuit by a second New Haven FBI worker, electronics technician Omar Montoya, in keeping with court docket paperwork obtained by the AP. Montoya alleges the retaliation in opposition to him included his supervisors falsely labeling him an “insider menace” to the FBI, which sparked an investigation, and authorizing unwarranted surveillance of him.
Siuzdak and Montoya have declined to touch upon the lawsuits, which have been filed in federal court docket.
Officers at FBI headquarters in Washington and Patricia Ferrick, the particular agent accountable for the New Haven workplace since 2013, additionally declined to touch upon the lawsuits.
Thomas Spina, an assistant U.S. legal professional representing the New Haven FBI workplace, mentioned Justice Division coverage prevented him from commenting on pending litigation and releasing particulars of settlements with staff. In court docket paperwork, federal officers denied the allegations in each lawsuits.
“We take the allegations severely,” Spina mentioned.
Montoya sued the FBI, Lawyer Normal Jeff Classes and FBI Director Christopher Wray in September. He mentioned Ferrick and different supervisors started a marketing campaign of retaliation in opposition to him after he started serving to Siuzdak with Siuzdak’s inside grievance in opposition to Ferrick and different officers for alleged discrimination and retaliation. Montoya was Siuzdak’s volunteer equal employment alternative affairs counselor.
Siuzdak, a 21-year FBI veteran, sued the Justice Division on allegations that Ferrick and her predecessor, Kimberly Mertz, blocked his pursuit of a number of administration positions and began baseless inside investigations in opposition to him after he reported alleged office time and attendance fraud.
Montoya, an Military veteran employed by the FBI in 2010, mentioned the retaliation and harassment in opposition to him started shortly after he interviewed Ferrick and Assistant Particular Agent in Cost Kevin Kline in April 2015 as a part of Siuzdak’s inside grievance, in keeping with his lawsuit.
Montoya additionally had reported alleged abuse of energy within the New Haven workplace to nationwide FBI officers, which he mentioned upset New Haven FBI leaders.
He mentioned FBI New Haven officers licensed pointless surveillance of him, gave him bogus unhealthy efficiency critiques and threatened to fireplace him on false allegations of attendance coverage violations.
His lawsuit additionally mentioned officers precipitated a “fraudulent and frivolous `insider menace’ investigation” to be began in opposition to him, by labeling him as somebody who posed a “bodily, terrorist, intelligence, or different safety threat to the FBI.”
He mentioned the stress from the retaliation and harassment precipitated well being issues that made him miss work.
“He was discriminated and/or retaliated in opposition to and subjected to a hostile work surroundings due to his participation in civil rights,” Montoya’s lawsuit says.
In court docket paperwork, federal prosecutors denied Montoya’s allegations and requested a choose to dismiss the lawsuit.