In the 1990s I sent several letters to the FBI requesting that the Bureau investigate possible criminal acts committed by my former employer, the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld. I received several letters from FBI Supervisory Special Agent David M. Bowie denying my request for an investigation.
Just who is David M. Bowie?
From: BOWIE v. MADDOX, No. 08–5111. Argued Dec. 6, 2010. -- June 21, 2011
David M. Bowie, a former official of the District of Columbia Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”), was fired after five years on the job, purportedly for poor performance. Bowie brought this suit against the District and officers of the OIG (“Defendants”) after he was fired, alleging that they conspired to deter his testimony in a subordinate's employment discrimination trial and ultimately fired him in retaliation for his refusal to help sabotage his fellow employee. The district court entered judgment in favor of Defendants on Bowie's § 1985(2) conspiracy claim, a related claim under § 1986 for failure to prevent the conspiracy, and his First Amendment retaliation claim. After a trial on Bowie's Title VII retaliation claim, the jury found in favor of Defendants. We vacate the dismissal of Bowie's §§ 1985(2) and 1986 conspiracy claims, because the district court erroneously required an invidious, class-based motive for the alleged conspiracy and because the district court concluded, without support, that Title VII was the exclusive remedy for this type of retaliation. McCord v. Bailey, 636 F.2d 606, 614 (D.C.Cir.1980). We affirm in all other respects.
Bowie was the Assistant Inspector General of the Investigations Division at the OIG from November 1997 until his termination in August 2002. Defendants say Bowie was fired for performance problems. But Bowie says his termination was the culmination of a retaliatory conspiracy by his superiors to punish him for supporting Emanuel Johnson, a subordinate whom the OIG fired over Bowie's dissent.
Bowie's professional relationship with Johnson dated back to the years they overlapped at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”). (Bowie had worked for the FBI for twenty-four years before he joined the OIG.) Back in 1993, Bowie and Johnson had initiated a class action against the FBI, alleging a discriminatory failure to promote black agents. Bowie claims that in 1999, after Johnson followed him from the FBI to OIG's Investigations Division, Bowie's boss, Inspector General Charles C. Maddox, told Bowie that FBI Assistant Director Jimmy C. Carter had threatened not to “provide any assistance or cooperation with the [OIG] in investigative matters” if Johnson was involved. Bowie interpreted this as “a direct demand that Maddox fire Johnson” or “suffer a severed FBI/[OIG] relationship.” Bowie suspects Carter's ultimatum was motivated by his anger at Johnson for filing several discrimination complaints—some against Carter himself—with the FBI's Equal Employment Office.