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View Diary: GAO auditors thrown out of Agriculture Dept. building (261 comments)

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  •  You left out the most important part! (5+ / 0-)

    "We are not interested in having our employees potentially put themselves at risk when they have not yet been advised of their rights and when we were not allowed to provide counsel," Kelly said. "We also pointed out to them that while they hold themselves out to be criminal investigators, GAO is an arm of Congress and has no authority to investigate violations of criminal law."

    Here is more background on this, in regards to one man, who became an activist after discrimination he faced at the USDA:

    When Virginia poultry farmer John W. Boyd, Jr. watched as his loan application was tossed into a trash can during an interview with a USDA official in 1989, he decided to fight back. Two years later, when he had still not received a satisfactory explanation for the rejection, Boyd filed a discrimination complaint through his local civil rights office. His case was investigated, and the official in question was eventually moved to another location. Boyd's complaint with the USDA was finally settled after five years of legal wrangling. However, the operating money he needed to keep his farm alive was not forthcoming, his applications for other forms of farm assistance were disregarded, and routine inquiries about his loan balances and payment schedules went unanswered. Boyd spent the next several years relying on financial help from family members. His finances eventually spiralled out of control, he lost his lucrative poultry contract, and he was forced to declare bankruptcy. The final insult came in November of 1996, when an auction sign appeared on Boyd's front lawn. He cut it in half with his power saw and threw it into the county official's truck. "I knew I had my back up against the wall and I was going to lose everything I had," he said in an interview with CBB. "I had used up almost all my rights and was just barely holding on."

    01-20-09: THE END OF AN ERROR

    by kimoconnor on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 07:22:32 AM PST

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