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Tag: Quantico

FBI Training Academy Under Fire over ‘Disturbing’ Claims of Gender Discrimination

FBI academy, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

House Judiciary Committee leaders are requesting the Justice Department’s internal watchdog investigate the FBI’s training academy after 16 women accused the bureau of gender discrimination.

The women claimed in a lawsuit filed last month that they were disproportionately disciplined and were subjected to a male-biased review process and overt sexual discrimination at the academy in Quantico, Va.

Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and ranking Republican Douglas Collins, R-Ga., sent a letter to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, saying the allegations were “disturbing” and “require an investigation into the FBI’s training and selection practices for new agents,” The Washington Post reports.

“If true, such conduct cannot be tolerated,” the lawmakers wrote. “The selection process employed by the FBI must be free from discrimination on the basis of factors such as gender and race, and individuals hired to these important positions should reflect the diversity of our country.”

Horowitz’s office declined to comment.

According to the lawsuit, the women were discharged, but seven still work at the FBI in other capacities.

“Because of the FBI’s history of tolerating the Good Old Boy Network, the subjective evaluations by these male instructors result in female trainees being written up and subsequently dismissed at a rate significantly and disproportionately higher than their male counterparts,” the lawsuit alleges.

Lawsuit: Women Sexually Harassed During FBI Training in Quantico

Training academy in Quantico, Va., via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As the FBI tries to increase its ranks of female agents, 16 women have sued the bureau, claiming they were sexually harassed at the FBI’s training academy in Quantico, Va.

The lawsuit alleges the academy is a “good-old-boy network” that exposes women to a hostile work environment, inappropriate jokes and sexual advances beginning in 2015, The New York Times reports.

The suit also claims some of the women were discriminated against based on their race or disabilities. One African American trainee alleges an instructor called her “spaghetti head” because of her braids.

The lawsuit zeroed in on the mock town known as Hogan’s Alley, where trainees learn about tactical training with fake criminals and terrorists. This phase of training resulted in many women being kicked out of the academy.

“The real purpose of the suit is to change the culture of the F.B.I.,” said David J. Shaffer, the lawyer for the women.

Seven of the 16 women still work for the FBI.

The women are asking for more female training instructors, an examination of the training evaluation process and $300,000 each for emotional stress.

The FBI wouldn’t publicly comment on the lawsuit but told the New York Times in a statement that the bureau was “committed to fostering a work environment where all of our employees are valued and respected.”

Meet the First Transgender Woman Accepted to the FBI National Academy

Lesley Mumford became the first transgender woman to be accepted into the elite FBI National Academy.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A Colorado SWAT team coordinator made history by becoming what is believed to be the first transgender woman accept into the FBI National Academy, an elite and intense training course in Quantico, Va.

Lesley Mumford, of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, is among about 200 law enforcement agents who will attend the 10-week course beginning in July, the Summit Daily reports

“I think it’s a pretty amazing thing, a historical thing,” said Mumford, who transitioned last year. “It makes me feel that society is changing, it makes me feel that as individuals we do have the ability to change and influence the world around us.”

Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons, who nominated Mumford, hailed the moment as a groundbreaking moment for the transgender community.

“We were so proud to have her transition in the workplace, but this is the next, huge, huge, smash-the-ceiling moment,” he said. “We’re so proud of Lesley.”

Trump to Visit FBI Academy Following Sharp Criticism of Bureau

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump, who boasted that the FBI is “in tatters” and “the worst in history,” will visit the bureau’s National Academy in Quantico, Va., today to speak with what could be a skeptical audience.

Trump will take part in the FBI’s graduation ceremony at a time of strained relations between the president and the bureau’s leadership.

The criticism prompted Trump’s FBI Director Christopher Wray to defend the bureau against heightening rhetoric as the special counsel investigation into Russia and the president’s aides continues to heat up.

Trump planned to visit FBI headquarters in May, but it was canceled following his firing of then-Director James come.

FBI Agents in Training Visit MLK Memorial As Part of Cultural-Sensitivity Training

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents who undergo months-long training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., undergo target practice and training for surveillance and self-defense.

But one of the newest exercises involves FBI agents in training to take a trip to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.

The trainees, dressed in plainclothes, were told to pick the most inspirational MLK quote etched into the stone slabs of the memorial and then discuss it, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

The point of the exercise is to show the FBI’s questionable investigations into King, which included racially motivated wiretapping and harassment.

FBI trainees receive other forms of cultural-sensitivity training, including visiting the National Holocaust Museum.

“We wanted to provide a lesson of what happens when power is abused and the responsibility that comes with being in the FBI,” said Cynthia DeWitte, a curriculum manager at the FBI academy. “We wanted this to be more than a field trip.”

ATF’s Scott Sweetow Named Deputy Director of the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center in Quantico

Scott Sweetow

Scott Sweetow

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

ATF agent Scott Sweetow has been named deputy director for the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC).

The intergovernmental agency, which is based at the FBI Laboratory in  Quantico, Va.,  coordinates efforts to gather and share intelligence about improvised explosive devices (IEDs), helps disarm and disrupt IEDs, link them to their makers and works to try and prevent attacks.

Sweetow will be responsible for strategic planning and execution, administration, financial management, program management and oversight of the day-to-day operations

The agency, created in 2003, is headed by a director from the FBI Greg Carl. Sweetow represents the ATF in the agency.

In May 2014, Sweetow was named Deputy Assistant Director for ATF’s Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information (OSII).

He began his career with ATF in 1990 in Los Angeles, spent several years assigned in the Arson and Explosives group, and served as a Certified Explosives Specialist. His duties included being part of ATF’s elite National Response Team, which investigated such high-profile crimes as the Oklahoma City bombing and the Centennial Olympic Park bombings.

He also spent several years working criminal intelligence matters, including a weapons case targeting the “The Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel-Rahman’s one time driver and bodyguard, Hikmat Alharahsheh.

Additionally, he served as special agent in charge of the ATF offices in Atlanta and St. Paul.

 

Retired FBI Agent Thomas Louis Hughes Dies at Age 77

Thomas L. Hughes

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Thomas Louis Hughes, an FBI agent from 1961 to 1986, died last week at this home in Virginia Beach. He was 77.

According to an obituary on the Altmeyer Funeral Homes website, Hughes, since 2003, survived amputations, surgeries, and numerous hospitalizations.

“Through it all, his quiet strength of will and pleasant demeanor inspired all who knew him,” the obit said.

A native of Missouri, Hughes was working on a masters degree when he was recruited by the FBI.

He worked in the FBI Crime Lab and earned his Masters Degree in Forensics Science from George Washington University in 1971.

He was a recognized expert witness in 26 states and taught as an adjunct professor at George Washington University.

The obit said he he was Unit Chief in the Crime Lab; Unit Chief, Forensic Training Unit in the FBI Academy, Quantico; and Unit Chief, Administrative Unit, Laboratory Division.

He is survived by his wife Joan, daughter Kendall Hughes, grandchildren Danika and Landon Brackett, son and daughter-in-law, Craig and Judith Hughes. His son Doug Hughes passed away in 1995.

Memorial Service are set for 11 a.m.Saturday (Jan. 25) at Nimmo United Methodist Church, 2200 Princess Anne Road, Virginia Beach, VA.

 

FBI Agents Sidelined for More Than Three Years After Charges Were Dismissed Against Them

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

When FBI agents Matt and Katia Litton were arrested in an alleged steroid ring in September 2010, they were shocked.

Sure enough, the charges were dropped two months later.

The couple said they were taking steroids because they were trying to have a baby, the Washington Post  reports.

Still, three years after the arrest, the couple has been all but sidelined at the Washington Field Office and Quantico because an administrative review continues, the Washington Post wrote.

“We’ve been in still water,” Katia said. “There has to be some sort of justice to let people move on.”

The FBI declined to comment on the case.