A former FBI special agent was wrongly fired after he blew the whistle on alleged sexual misconduct among his co-workers, a federal appeals court has ruled.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said the bureau lacked sufficient cause to fire former special agent John C. Parkinson in 2012, four years after he alleged that a colleague had a “career-long pattern of soliciting sex with prostitutes,” the Fresno Bee reports.
Now the FBI must rehire Parkinson or pay him.
Parkinson alleged that another Sacramento-based colleague had a “history of viewing Internet pornography, both on government and personal computers during work hours.”
A decorated Marine Corps Reserve lieutenant colonel, Parkinson was fired in 2012 for allegedly obstructing investigators and lacking candor in his responses to a probe involving in building new Sacramento quarters for the Special Operations Group.
“It should be appreciated that . . . the penalty of removal, which was predicated on the now-overturned lack of candor charge, cannot be sustained,” wrote Judge Richard Linn of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Parkinson’s attorney celebrated the ruling, which was quietly released Monday.
“We are thrilled at this victory,” attorney Jesselyn A. Radack, with the watchdog group ExposeFacts, said in an interview Tuesday with the Fresno Bee. “It truly is a rare and historic ruling.”