October 1, 1996
3801 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20008-4530
Howard Shapiro, Esq.
FBI General Counsel
Washington, DC 20535
RE: Violence/Homicide Risk - D.C. Corporation Counsel Affirmation
Dear Mr. Shapiro:
This letter will serve to update a letter dated January 31, 1995 (copy enclosed) that I had forwarded to the Bureau’s Washington Field Office.
The letter lists the names of Akin Gump legal assistants who were later promoted to law clerk or associate positions. I would like to add the name of F. Robert Wheeler, III, who currently practices law at the firm.
To the best of my recollection Mr. Wheeler began his tenure at the firm in about late 1989 as a temporary legal assistant employed by the agency Personnel Pool. He was assigned to the client Eastern Airlines, and performed the task of tape-recording (and later proofreading the transcripts of) pre-recorded telephone messages disseminated nationwide by the Airline Pilots Association (so-called “Code-A-Phone” messages disseminated to Eastern Pilots by the union regarding ongoing labor-management disputes). I do not know what tasks Mr. Wheeler was assigned to after the firm ceased its representation of Eastern, in about mid-year 1990.
Mr. Wheeler was in his mid-thirties and had previously practiced law (possibly in the securities field?) and had also worked, if I recall correctly, as a fund raiser.
During the period late 1989 until at least mid-year 1990 Mr. Wheeler was assigned to office space on the ninth floor of the firm: a large office space that housed about six legal assistants including myself. Mr. Wheeler worked on a special shift--from approximately 7 a.m. until 3 p.m.; he arrived in the office long before other employees each morning.
On Mr. Wheeler’s birthday on May 19, 1990 fellow legal assistants arranged a small get-together in the office. Cake was served on party napkins that featured an image of “GI Joe.” (I believe that fellow legal assistants Kathy Reynolds had purchased the party accessories, and stated the following to explain the “GI Joe” theme: “The store didn’t have anything else.”)
I saved one of the “GI Joe” napkins, 1/ which I taped to the inside of a cabinet that was attached to my desk.
On October 29, 1991 Akin Gump terminated my employment, citing as its reasons concerns about my mental stability and potential for violence, which concerns arose out of my report of harassment to hiring partner Dennis M. Race, Esq. together with statements made by unspecified co-workers to Mr. Race that alleged that my behavior was frightening and disruptive to persons in my immediate surroundings.
Some time after my termination, F. Robert Wheeler, III was promoted to associate.
The U.S. Social Security Administration has determined that I became disabled as of October 29, 1991, the date of my job termination by Akin Gump. I continue to receive benefits paid by the U.S. Social Security Administration because of a mental illness that features the paranoid delusion that I was subjected to job harassment and discrimination at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld. See Freedman v. D.C. Department of Human Rights, Superior Court no. MPA 95-14 (final order issued June 10, 1996) ( xxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxx, J.).
1/ The “paper napkin” referred to at paragraph 36 of the enclosed document is the above-described “GI Joe” napkin. See Freedman v. D.C. Department of Human Rights, D.C. Superior Court MPA 95-14, record at 346-347 (litigation support employee Lutheria Harrison, whose name is cited at paragraph 36, was later promoted to legal assistant). At the time of the described incidents of harassment (during the week of March 11, 1991) I formed the paranoid belief that Wheeler might have been one of the persons who committed the acts, or that another employee had committed the acts: in either case with the intent to prompt me to complain to management with a report of harassment that could be dismissed by co-workers as the product of paranoia, jealousy, or racism. About three weeks after the incidents occurred, Akin Gump manager Malcolm Lassman held a legal assistant staff meeting, on the afternoon of Friday April 5, 1991, to respond to rumors current in the firm that Akin Gump had plans to lay off legal assistants in response to the economic recession.