March 11, 2016
Secret Service agents deserve their day in court
The March 8 Fed Page article “Black Secret Service agent seeks hearing on bias suit” brought to light a situation that demands prompt resolution. It is shameful that for 16 years, brave men and women of the Secret Service have been denied their day in court.
I learned of this matter more than a decade ago and have raised it with successive leaders of the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and the Secret Service. Throughout the litigation, the Secret Service has been penalized repeatedly by the court for willful noncompliance with its orders. Even though the statistical evidence of racial discrimination amassed against the Secret Service is overwhelming, it has used every dilatory tactic in its arsenal to prevent the plaintiffs from having a trial.
In response to a barrage of embarrassing incidents, the Secret Service has made sweeping commitments to reform. However, it is hard to take the Secret Service seriously about its desire to turn the page on its well-documented cultural problems while it continues this apparent campaign to run out the clock on people seeking their day in court. These agents, who help keep our country safe, are due a swift and just resolution.
Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security