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Archive for September 20th, 2014

Judge Rules In Favor of Ex-ATF Agent Jay Dobyns and Slaps ATF

Jay Dobyns

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A federal judge gave what former ATF agent Jay Dobyns seemed to want most: Vindication.

The Arizona Republic writes that U.S. Federal Claims Judge Francis M. Allegra of D.C. ruled in a lawsuit filed by Dobyns that ATF failed to properly respond to death threats against him after he infiltrated the Hells Angels motorcycle gang, then reneged on previous agreements to address his complaints. In 2008, his house was set afire. 

The ruling, unsealed Tuesday, awarded Dobyns of Tucson $173,000 for emotional stress caused by ATF, the paper reported. 

The paper also reported that the judge denied the government’s counterclaims for royalties from Dobyns’ book, No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels, and the films rights to the book, which are held by 20th Century Fox.

The $173,000 award fell far short of what he had sought. But he said he was pleased, nonetheless, with the ruling.

Dobyns wrote on his blog:

“I will not seize upon this opportunity to gloat or celebrate. From my view there is nothing to rejoice in. This is a sad day for my beloved ATF, the Department of Justice and all who believe in and support America’s law enforcement officers.”

“The title of the lawsuit alone — Dobyns v. USA — is humiliating for me. I never stood against the USA; only the corruption and abuse that infect parts of ATF and DOJ in leadership. I blew the whistle on that corruption. For that I was severely punished and left undefended.”

Dobyns also wrote in his blog:

Today, Judge Allegra describes ATF as an agency with, “organizational weaknesses, the inability of agency officials to supervise and control, and of demonstrated misfeasance – all rooted in the sorry failure of some ATF officials”. Further he wrote, “the story of how Agent Dobyns was treated is neither entertaining nor an easy read.”

Judge Allegra wrote in his opinion that Marino Vidoli, Steve Pugmire and Bill Newell, “ignored information about threats to Agent Dobyns and his family”, that, “the removal of the fictitious identification put Agent Dobyns and his family at risk”, that there was “no valid reason” for ATF’s failure to support us. The court wrote that the conduct of Vidoli was “unprecedented as the only instance in which Vidoli ever withdrew backstopping issued to an ATF employee.”

In 2007, Dobyns won a $373,000 award against ATF after it was concluded  that the agencies failed to take proper action to keep him safe.

ATF issued a statement that was posted on The Phoenix New Times:

“We have received and are reviewing with the Department of Justice the Court’s decision in Dobyns v. United States. We cannot, however, further comment on this case because portions of the litigation are still pending, including matters that may be appealed by the parties.”

Ex-ATF Agent Jay Dobyns on His Court VIctory: ‘I Hope It Helps the Many Other Abused Employees Who Never Had a Voice’

Jay Dobyns/his website

The following was written after ex-ATF Agent Jay Dobyns’ won his lawsuit against ATF. A federal judge awarded him $173,000 and lambasted ATF. Dobyns, who had gone undercover with the Hells Angels, claimed that the department didn’t do enough to protect his life after getting death threats and having his house catch on fire. The following is from his blog. 

By Jay Dobyns

Today the Honorable Francis M. Allegra of the United States Court of Federal Claims made public his judicial opinion/ruling/findings in the case of Jay Anthony Dobyns v. United States.

I have been vindicated.

First, I must thank God who provided me with strength and faith during these events.

“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

– Joshua 1:9

I thank those who have supported me; family, friends, peers and strangers but mostly my wife and kids – they have been the true victims here and been forced to suffer to needlessly.

My legal counsel lead by James Reed proved to be extraordinary and brilliant. Jim and his team took on a fight that no else dared. With Jeff Elder and Carson Emmons together they played out a courtroom version of David and Goliath challenging the most well-resourced and powerful law firm in the history of the planet, the United States Department of Justice. Armed with the equivalent of a stone and a slingshot, they won.

Attorney Mark Gidley and the law firm of White and Case in Washington, D.C., invited us into their home and showed us the hospitality and a base of operations that only a firm of that stature could provide.

I thank Judge Allegra for upholding his duty, responsibility and ethics in reaching a fair opinion. He is the type of judge who brings honor and respect to the bench. I was fortunate to argue before such a fine man.

I thank the select few of my ATF peers who displayed the courage to publicly stand by me when doing so put their own careers and reputations at risk. Friends I thought I had vanished while friends I never knew I had arrived. There is nothing comparable to “pressure” in a time of need to find out who truly believes in you.

Two ATF Agents in particular showed themselves to have integrity that rose above the fray. Thomas Atteberry took great professional risk when he pressed for a fair investigation of the crimes against me and was placed under duress for doing so. Christopher Trainor conducted an internal investigation that serves as an example of a diligent quest for the truth. For every lawman who truly seeks unbiased fairness in their work, he set a very high standard to strive for.

Doing the right thing is not always easy but, it is always right.

Those at the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund proved to be extraordinary in their support. Without them I could not have survived this battle or been able to continue it. They showed faith in me when very few others did and their assistance kept me in the fight when I was on the verge of a knockout.

I thank certain members of the media for their accurate coverage of these events. Without their reporting ATF and DOJ would have gotten away with all of this. The leadership of those agencies take an attitude of “battening down the hatches and allowing the storm to blow over” until they are placed under the microscope of the public’s eye.  Forced transparency. The power of the press and the pen is enormous.

As with anything worth accomplishing in life, none of us can ever do it alone.

It is also most appropriate here to honor the sacrifice of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry whose passing shed light on the conduct of ATF and allowed the events I suffered to find credibility and attention. Prior to Brian’s death the facts and evidence contained in this opinion had been swept under ATF’s dirty rug. It is shameful that the loss of Brian’s life is what it took for the truths of my situation to be exposed.

For Brian, much of the information surrounding his murder is still covered up.

This opinion is not just a victory for me. I hope it helps the many other abused employees who never had a voice or were never able to make it this far. Brian has been instrumental in that and continues to serve his nation even in death.

Read more »

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