The Central Intelligence Agency has terminated a female employee who accused her of being sexually assaulted by a colleague in the stairwell of the agency. C.I.A according to his lawyer, he is trying to prevent him from filing a complaint in a criminal case.
The case of the unnamed employee led to a colleague’s conviction in state court last year of misdemeanor assault and battery, prompting at least two dozen people at the agency to file allegations of sexual abuse at the spy agency and a CIA inquiry. Office of the Inspector General.
The firing of the female employee comes at a time when the CIA is facing inspection As Congress handles sexual assault and abuse complaints, some critics accuse the agency of tolerating a culture that discourages victims from reporting. abuses.
The employee’s attorney, Kevin Carroll, called her termination “unlawful retaliation against someone who reported sexual harassment at the agency to Congress, the inspector general, and law enforcement.”
He added: “The only reason to terminate her is to scare all the other women (about alleged sexual misconduct) from coming forward.”
The CIA rejected the lawyer’s claims.
“This statement is factually inaccurate. To be clear, the CIA does not tolerate sexual harassment, sexual assault or whistleblower retaliation,” said agency spokeswoman Tammy Thorp.
Carroll, a partner at the law firm Hughes Hubbard and Reed, said his client had failed the CIA’s secret agent training program. In such cases, those employees are then allowed to apply for other positions in the agency. According to Carroll, his client applied for another job but was not selected and was fired on Monday.
According to him, the agency told the client that he did not receive training due to poor writing skills. Carroll said he corresponded with his client for months and found that he was an excellent writer, and it was surprising how the agency could have come to a different conclusion, especially given his client’s successful academic record.
Thorp, the CIA spokesman, rejected any suggestion that the agency’s training was unfair or biased.
“As for allegations of strict agency training, as you would expect, the CIA uses consistent processes to ensure that every officer undergoing training is treated fairly and equally. Our mission demands no less than that.”
A significant number of cadets do not pass the CIA’s notoriously demanding undercover officer training. Former CIA officers say there is no guarantee that those left out of the program will be hired elsewhere in the agency.
Ashkan Bayatpour, a CIA colleague accused of wearing a scarf around a CIA operative’s neck and threatening him, was convicted last year in a Virginia court of assault and battery charges.
The criminal case was highly unusual for an intelligence agency accustomed to keeping personnel affairs out of the public eye.
The female employee also filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the CIA retaliated against her for reporting her sexual harassment allegations to local police and sharing her experiences with lawmakers in closed-door congressional hearings.
The lawsuit alleges that the CIA improperly shared personal information with lawyers of a former colleague convicted of assaulting him and misrepresented his performance.
The lawsuit is now the subject of settlement negotiations.
The CIA says it has implemented reforms in recent years to improve the way it handles allegations of sexual violence and abuse, to ensure that officers can report complaints to law enforcement and that disciplinary actions are consistent and aware of holding people accountable.