Yesterday, Minneapolis Chief U.S. District Judge James Rosenbaum ordered the FBI to pay over $1 million to former FBI Agent Jane Turner and her attorneys. Combine that amount with the $360,000 that Turner was awarded by a jury in February 2007, it brings her total court award, to nearly $1.4 Million. The judge’s ruling yesterday dealt yet another solid blow to the FBI, which had filed an objection to Ms. Turner’s request for reimbursement of her attorneys fees.
Special Agent Turner was a highly regarded child crime agent working in the “Indian Country” of North Dakota for thirteen years. She experienced harsh retaliation from her managers after blowing the whistle on sex discrimination within the FBI, as well as negligence in child abuse investigations. In January 2007, a Minneapolis jury awarded Turner over $500,000 for retaliation and backpay – which by law was reduced to $360,000.
**Tad Vezner of the Pioneer Press has a good article on this issue linked here**
The FBI initially appealed the jury verdict, but the Solicitor General of the United States intervened and forced the FBI to drop their appeal.
Stephen Kohn, Ms. Turner’s attorney and President of the National Whistleblower Center, called the Turner decision “vindication for an irrational attempt by the FBI to destroy one of its highly decorated veteran agents after she exposed highly discriminatory practices by her management.”
In addition to disclosing discrimination, Ms. Turner also reported widespread theft by FBI agents at the 9/11 crime scene. A subsequent DOJ investigation found that scores of employees had stolen items belonging to the victims, including a crystal Tiffany globe and bloodstained clothing.
“FBI management at the highest levels must be held accountable for their crude attempt to cover up official misconduct. What the Bureau did to Jane Turner is unnaceptable in modern law enforcement.” Added Kohn.