Tuesday, February 2, 2010

ATF Counsel's Office Mendacity in the Dobyns' Case: Hanging Street Agents & Their Families Out to Dry.


CPT Jonathan Tuttle of the Beltway Commandos forwards this post from the ATF agent "Microscope" on the CleanUpATF.org website.

I have taken the liberty of posting the pdf of the judge's order in this case here. You may be suspicious of "Microscope's" analysis until you read the order.

Once again we see how the street agents are being screwed by the senior executives, especially the professional liars of the Chief Counsel's Office.


Posted Today, 02:25 AM

Ridiculous Part I

Between September 2004 and August 2007 ATF Agent Jay Dobyns and his family received verified death and violence threats on a dozen separate occasions from crime suspects Agent Dobyns investigated.

The threat sources ranged from a home invasion suspect, to a murder-for-hire suspect through various members and associates of the Aryan Brotherhood, the MS-13 and the Hells Angels. The threats and actions moved beyond plots to kill Agent Dobyns and extended to proven and credible plans to capture and torture his then 14-year-old daughter and video tape the gang rape of his wife.

ATF did next to nothing and fluffed off the situations. Agent Dobyns internally grieved the mismanagement to then Deputy Director Edgar Domenech who requested a “fact finder” investigation to be conducted "in house" by ATF’s internal affairs.

The IA investigation was embarrassingly one-sided, unprofessional and incomplete. IA intentionally set out to protect ATF with a predetermined exoneration and did so by concluding the accused ATF managers did nothing wrong. ATF thought Dobyns' complaint would end with their whitewash.

Domenech used IA’s flawed report to advise Dobyns in writing, “I do not believe that any ATF officer deliberately set out to mishandle any of the various matters at issue, nor do I believe that a hostile work environment was intentionally created. Therefore, the personal relief that you seek must be and is hereby denied.” (Agents, remember those words next time you are accused by ATF of wrongdoing. According to the Deputy Directors own assessment if your error was not “deliberate” or “intentional” then you have done nothing to be punished for. Agents, this is a gift that Domenech gave us and it will keep on giving forever, i.e. ATF must prove that your transgression was deliberate and intentional. The precedent has been set but I digress. Allow me to return to point.)

The Office of Special Counsel and the Office of the Inspector General investigated the very allegations that ATF IA examined. The independent investigation arrived at an exact 180 degree opposite conclusion than ATF’s IA. The OSC found ATF managements handling of the situations to be inept at best.

Agents, how can two independent investigations conducted by government trained and experienced investigators and relying on the exact same facts and circumstance arrive at entirely opposite conclusions? The “how?” is because ATF will avoid accountability and protect their executives at any and all costs to include doctoring their own internal reviews.

In OSC's letter to President Obama on this matter they wrote, "Notably absent is any statement from ATF regarding action taken to address their failures to adequately investigate the threats made against Special Agent Dobyns. Threats against agents must be pursued aggressively and officials at all levels must cooperate in any investigation. The protection of its own agents is critical to the success of ATF’s mission."

When new DD Ronnie Carter and his new Assistant Director for Field Operations Billy Hoover came to power they met with Agent Dobyns and settled the dispute out of court. In that settlement Carter and Hoover "guaranteed" to personally put an end to the hostile work environment and whistleblower reprisals Dobyns had been subjected to under the previous regime. Carter went so far as to state to Agent Dobyns, "The people in this agency will do exactly what I tell them to do."

Ridiculous Part II

Approximately 7 months after the settlement agreement was signed Agent Dobyns requested the assistance of ATF’s Special Operations Division to backstop a personal vehicle being driven by his now 16-year-old daughter (the prior target of unaddressed kidnapping and torture threats).

Carter, Hoover and SOD Chief Marino Vidoli decided to deny the backstopping request, but, took it one step further. With no explanation or justification they recalled all of the previously issued backstopping mechanisms put in place to assist Agent Dobyns in obtaining and maintaining security for himself and his family. All of the backstopping that Agent Dobyns had been able to create for himself and his family were removed and thus that personal security was intentionally exposed and compromised by ATF's actions.

Four months later in August 2008, the Dobyns family home was burned to the ground in an arson fire. With Carter and Hoover now in charge of their own regime, ATF dropped the ball again, only this time to a much worse and more malicious level than Domenech and Bouchard ever dreamed of.

Agent Dobyns sued ATF in the United States Court of Claims for violating the settlement agreement contract and for the reprisals he was continuing to receive.

ATF brought in attorneys from the Department of Justice to defend their actions. The DOJ and ATF attorneys teamed up in motioning the court to enact a “death sentence” on the Dobyns lawsuit seeking a total and universal dismissal of Agent Dobyns’ complaint.

If the government’s motion were granted ATF would be home free and never have to face ANY accountability for their bad acts. A classic David vs. Goliath battle.

Agent Dobyns and his pro-bono attorney (our David) going toe-to-toe against the best team of DOJ and ATF legal minds that the government could assemble (Goliath).

On January 15, 2010, United States Court of Claims Judge Francis Allegra issued his written ruling. Judge Allegra cited dozens of legal precedents, to include Supreme Court rulings that support the continuance of Agent Dobyns lawsuit in Federal court. The only element the government succeeded in winning was a FOIA dispute which would have proven to be inconsequential as the case moved forward. David won.

In their failed argument against Dobyns the government attorneys attempted to fluff off the legitimacy of his lawsuit when they argued to Judge Allegra that the Dobyns lawsuit was, “nothing more than an unadorned, ‘the-defendant (ATF)-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation’.”

Judge Allegra humorously ruled that the government’s flawed view of the Dobyns lawsuit, “revolve(s) around the notion that despite its 147 counts and 43 typed pages the plaintiff’s complaint somehow lacks specificity.”

Judge Allegra further cited the previous Office of Inspector General investigation writing, “The OIG opined that ATF should have taken threats against Dobyns and his family more seriously and its responses to threats were inadequate, incomplete, and unnecessarily or needlessly delayed.”

Judge Allegra cited from Agent Dobyns complaint in his ruling that, “ATF allowed ATF managers to perpetuate a hostile work environment characterized by individual and institutional reprisals - harassment, discrimination, slander, defamation, whistle blower retaliation and misuse of internal affair mechanisms; ATF failed to take adequate steps to protect plaintiff (Dobyns) and his family; ATF failed to provide essential security backstopping and protective documents necessary to obtain and maintain a covert residency and safe daily existence; ATF failed to take a variety of steps to investigate properly the arson fire and manipulated official investigative findings.”

Judge Allegra’s final words were clear. “The court believes that his case should proceed.”

Agents – 1, ATF – 0.

NOTE: Pay special attention to the Appendix at very end of the ruling. There you will find a list of ATF transgressions; bad acts that ATF attempted to convince the court they should not be held accountable for. This is shameful.

Ridiculous Part III

Immediately after learning of their loss ATF and DOJ attorneys filed a countersuit against Dobyns. The government claims that the United States has been damaged by the release of Agent Dobyns’ book No Angel and is seeking monetary compensation from Dobyns for their alleged damages.

ATF Agents let me run this scenario by you: An Agent commits a damaging crime against ATF. He does so to such an extreme level that ATF and DOJ attorneys file a federal lawsuit against the agent seeking damages compensation. So we ask…

When did ATF determine they were damaged? The book has been on bookshelves for one year and ATF knew about the publication of it 11 months before that, so let’s say for roughly two years ATF was aware of their damages.

Did ATF investigate the alleged crime? Yes. Did the Professional Review Board confer on this crime and the investigation of it? Yes. So if the investigation revealed a crime would the PRB impose discipline, especially one so heinous to ultimately result in a lawsuit? Yes. Did the PRB propose discipline? No. Did the PRB put as much as an adverse letter in the agents personnel file? No.

So let me get this straight. ATF feels that they are severely damaged by a crime committed by a currently employed agent. ATF bypasses the entire internal discipline process and jumps straight to a lawsuit. But, ATF does so two years after investigating the alleged “crime” against them and files their suit just days after learning their own motion to legally bury the agent is overturned?

Who is ATF’s Chief Counsel and where did he get is law degree? In my Cracker Jack box I only got a lousy comic book. Ken Melson, hello, are you out there? Are you monitoring anything that your attorney’s are doing?

The ATF/DOJ countersuit is a blatant example of malicious prosecution and one that will go down at the bottom, or at least near the all-time low for ATF. If I were Agent Dobyns whatever it was I was asking the courts to consider for my monetary compensation, as of today I would add another zero to the end of that total.

Rest assured ATF Agents, the truth never changes and it never goes away. ATF can attempt to morph it, disguise it, mitigate it, cover it up, re-invent it, fabricate it, lie about it, and use their best attorneys and the courts to avoid it, but, the truth will always remain the truth and very quickly in this case it will begin to reveal itself to full public view.

Then you will be able to form your own conclusions, pro or con, with ALL of the facts, evidence and testimony available to help you decide who is right and who is wrong.

The totality of this case is a single example of how ATF Chief Counsels Office enacts their blind loyalty, true believer, no-act-to-low approach to defend against their managers failures and how our executives hatred for an employee can skew their reasoning.

Government attorneys are mandated by Congress maintain the very highest levels of ethics and integrity in seeking truth and justice for the American people. I don’t believe Congress left a loophole in that standard to exclude ATF agents.

The elements of Agent Dobyns case may be unique but ATF’s actions against him are not. They demonstrate a common example of how ATF executives loath working agents, and most especially the ones who have the courage to take a stand against them.

Sir, _____________ (fill in the blank as needed with Sullivan, Melson, Carter, Hoover, Carroll, Loos, Vidoli, Newell, Gillette, Higman, Domenech, Bouchard, Webb, Dobyns) please raise your right hand. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God? Are you aware of the penalties for perjury against the United States? Please be seated and state your name for the court…


Anonymous said...

See? There is hope for us yet. We still have at least ONE smart judge in this nation.

I hope, and am convinced, that this agent has trained his family in self defense just like the rest of us.

My prayers are with him and the others who need them.

rexxhead said...

"Penalties for perjury" ??

There are no 'penalties for perjury' if you and the judge and the prosecutor all get paid out of the same account.

Only people who actually work for a living can have 'penalties for perjury'.

Anyone who thinks differently is living in fantasyland.

Anonymous said...

After reading that, if I were an ATF agent I'd apply to Customs/BP or DHS ASAP...

Any agency that treats it's undercover agents like that deserves whatever badness comes to them.

Moreso than ever, it makes me doubt that ATF agents will be truly willing to enforce a "Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in!" order, no matter the circumstances that lead to such an insane law in the first place.

straightarrow said...

Sorry, I don't care if this sonofabitch dies because of agency corruption. He has known ever since his first day that they were corrupt. He stayed. Fuck him. I do hope his family leaves him so they won't be harmed. No point in wishing harm on the innocent. But he isn't an innocent.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

From the article:

Domenech used IA’s flawed report to advise Dobyns in writing, “I do not believe that any ATF officer deliberately set out to mishandle any of the various matters at issue, nor do I believe that a hostile work environment was intentionally created. Therefore, the personal relief that you seek must be and is hereby denied.”

Time for Fun With Domenech (who is now the Sheriff of New York City)! In a recent interview with Rachel Maddow, he told her that he was issued a 12-round magazine (plus 1 round in the chamber) for his "service revolver."

Good times!