Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Letter to U.S. Secret Service: 2/20/96

February 20, 1996
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW
#136
Washington, DC 20008-4530

Philip C. Leadroot
Special Agent
U.S. Secret Service
Washington Field Office

Dear Mr. Leadroot:

I want to assure the U.S. Secret Service that I have not discussed matters pertinent to your investigation with any news organizations.

I want to point out, however, that an enterprising journalist could make a story out of facts contained in letters that I have already supplied to you. The facts of my case might conceivably give rise to a story such as the following, though other, perhaps more realistic (though no less embarrassing) stories are possible.

The New York Times

Tabloids Report Clinton Friends Shield Mental Patient; Rubin Denies Secret Service Protected Strauss Firm

A spokesman for Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin today refused to comment on news stories--reported in the tabloid press--that the Secret Service, at Rubin's direction, limited the scope of an investigation into a possible Presidential security threat in order to shield Rubin's long-time friend, Robert S. Strauss.

The investigation concerned the activities of a man, described as severely disturbed, who wrote a series of ominous letters to the Secret Service and other federal agencies that referred to President Clinton.

The man, known only as Anonymous, had been an employee of the Washington law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, founded by Robert S. Strauss, former Ambassador to Russia. Strauss has been a close personal friend of Rubin's for many years.

Strauss, contacted at Akin Gump's Washington Office refused to comment.

The tabloid press has raised questions in recent days about whether Strauss may have asked his long-time friend and confidant Rubin to order the Secret Service to limit the scope of the investigation, reportedly because any publicity concerning a full investigation might open a "hornet's nest" about embarrassing racial discord at the Strauss firm.

Akin Gump counts civil rights leader Vernon Jordan among its partners. Vernon Jordan is a close personal friend of President Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Jordan, contacted at Akin Gump's Washington office, refused to comment.

Anonymous, who had worked as a paralegal at the Strauss firm, was fired in late October 1991, days after he lodged a harassment complaint against his supervisor, Christine Robertson.  The supervisor reportedly later told employees she was afraid Anonymous might return with a gun to kill her and other employees.

There had been long-standing rumors at the firm that Anonymous, who reportedly suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, might be armed and dangerous. Anonymous worked in the firm's data processing department, supervised by Robertson.''

In April 1992, Patricia A. McNeil, a black data-processor, was fired from Akin Gump after 4½ years of employment.  She later sued the firm, charging racial discrimination.

McNeil's suit, filed in federal court, alleged that her supervisor, Robertson, engaged in “offensive conduct such as telling racial jokes, making comments to the effect that blacks are perceived as not working as hard as white employees, are shiftless, lazy [and] incompetent. . . .”

When McNeil became pregnant with her second child in August 1991, Robertson said she did not understand why blacks have so many babies,” according to the suit.

According to McNeil's attorney there were many similar incidents involving Robertson.

Although McNeil's suit was dismissed in a pre-trial summary judgment in November 1993, the court in its written opinion cited Robertson for engaging in racially-offensive conduct.

There are reports that sworn pre-trial deposition testomony given by Akin Gump's managing partner, Laurence J. Hoffman, in the McNeil case was rife with inconsistencies aimed at shielding the firm from liability and potentially damaging publicity about racism at the Strauss firm. Certain of Hoffman's statements may constitute the crime of perjury, one source is quoted as saying.

Anonymous, who had been unemployed since his dismissal by Akin Gump in 1991, reportedly began writing letters to various federal agencies, including the Secret Service, as a pretext in order to prompt an inquiry into his job dismissal.

The Secret Service first met with Anonymous in December 1994 and concluded its investigation in February 1995. The Secret Service determined that Anonymous did not pose a security risk, but stopped short of investigating the background of allegations at Akin Gump that Anonymous was armed and dangerous.

The tabloids allege that the Secret Service investigation was unusually perfunctory given the gravity of the accusations made against Anonymous—namely, that he was severely disturbed and possibly armed and homicidal.

In 1992, in a sworn statement filed with a District of Columbia human rights agency in response to a complaint by Anonymous, Hoffman alleged that firm management had determined in consultation with a psychiatric consultant that Anonymous suffered from a serious paranoid mental illness that rendered him violence prone. Hoffman also cited Anonymous for “extremely disruptive” behavior while employed at Akin Gump.

The psychiatric consultant has been identified as Gertrude R. Ticho, a Washington-based psychiatrist who is internationally-renowned.

The District of Columbia human rights agency in 1993 concluded that Akin Gump's concerns about Anonymous' violent propensities were justified, and refused to order his job reinstatement.

That 1993 huamn right decision, however was based exclusively on the least serious of Akin Gump's concerns about Anonymous, states a source familiar with the agency's investigation. “Unaccountably, Hoffman didn't even tell Human Rights that Akin Gump was worried the guy had a gun and might come back to the firm, Rambo-style, and shoot up some people,” the source states.

Hoffman has refused to discuss statements, attributed to Robertson, that Anonymous had plans to engage in an armed assault on the firm in retaliation for his dismissal. Akin Gump's managers reportedly took actions to secure Robertson's office suite after Anonymous was fired, as a safety precaution.

The tabloids contend that the background of the accusations made against Anonymous at Akin Gump, and the firm's actions in securing an office suite against armed assault, were never even looked into by the Secret Service.

The National Enquirer, one of the tabloids that has picked up the story, writes: “How is it that so many employees and managers at Akin Gump could be convinced that Anonymous was armed and potentially dangerous, yet the Secret Service never conducted an investigation into what prompted the accusations?” The National Enquirer story concludes: “What did Strauss and his partners know and did they lobby Treasury to limit an investigation into the action of a mentally-disturbed employee in order to avoid embarrassment?”

Akin Gump managing partner Hoffman declined to be interviewed.

A spokesman for the Secret Service, asked to comment on reports that it was ordered to limit an investigation by Headquarters at the behest of Secretary Rubin acting at the request of Bob Strauss, said the reports were “typical tabloid trash journalism.”

The Secret Service spokesman added: “Anybody who thinks we don't take every investigation seriously doesn't have his head screwed on right.”

Reportedly, one of the recipients of Anonymous' correspondence was former House Speaker Thomas S. Foley. Anonymous reportedly told Foley in a 1994 letter that he had been determined to be “paranoid, and a potential mass murderer.” It is not known whether Foley, who at the time, as House Speaker, was third in line to succeed to the President, ever contacted any law enforcement officials.

Foley, a long-time close personal friend of Akin Gump founding partner Robert Strauss, joined Akin Gump as a partner in early 1995, shortly after leaving Congress.

Foley, contacted at Akin Gump's Washington office, refused to comment.

A Justice Department spokesman states that if the reported allegations about interference with a Secret Service investigation were factual, they would raise issues of a possible obstruction of justice. The Justice Department spokesman, who is familiar with the case, emphasized, however, that the allegations are groundless. The Justice Department has no plans to investigate, the spokesman said.

Robert E. Rubin was named to head the Treasury Department by President Clinton in December 1994.
_____________________________

Although the Secret Service is justified in excluding Akin Gump from the scope of its investigation, were this matter to get public attention, potentially embarrassing questions might be raised about the Secret Service's handling of the investigation.

While any such news story would be based on paranoid speculation, with only a grain of factual support, that's exactly the type of story that certain news organizations pay to get. And given the nature of the story, any tabloid coverage, even an attempt to hawk the story, might be picked up by the mainstream media, possibly even the New York Times.

I have enclosed a computer disc that contains documents that I have previously submitted to you. The documents can be the basis of certain paranoid speculation.

In conclusion, I want to advise the U.S. Secret Service that I continue to hold a body of beliefs that are, according to Laurence J. Hoffman, the product of a serious mental disorder that renders me potentially violent and an imminent threat to persons in my environment.

Laurence J Hoffman continues to refuse to acknowledge that statements made by Christine Robertson at the time of my job termination that I might be armed and extremely dangerous were malicious and part of a pettern of harassing and discriminatory conduct in violation of my rights under the D.C. Human Rights Act of 1977.

Laurence J. Hoffman continues to refuse to acknowledge that the action of senior Akin Gump supervisors in securing the office suite that housed the litigation support department against an armed attack to be carried out by me was malicious and discriminatory.

Laurence J. Hoffman continues to refuse to acknowledge that the following statement made by Akin Gump employee Stacey Schaar in about August 1989 was evidence of a hostile work environment: “We're all afraid of you. We're all afraid you're going to buy a gun, bring it in and shoot everybody. Even the manager of your apartment building [Elayne Wranik] is afraid of you.”

Although I disavow an intent to commit an act of violence, my medical records on file at the George Washington University Medical Center state that I may have lied on psychological testing administered in May 1994 in order to conceal the nature and severity of a paranoid (psychotic) mental illness (an illness that may dispose me to commit an act of violence). Despite my repeated requests, the George Washington University Medical Center refuses to modify that determination.

The above facts relating to alleged mental impairment might adversely affect the ability of the Office of U.S. Attorney to successfully prosecute me in the event I were to commit an act of violence consistent with the above described risk assessment ratified by the Government of the District of Columbia pursuant to sworn statements filed by Laurence J. Hoffman.

I stand ready to assist federal authorities inclouding the U.S. Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the US. Department of Justice—in any way deemed necessary to resolve questions raised by the law firm of Akin Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld concerning my alleged propensity to commit an act or crime of violence.

I stand ready to undergo any interrogation, forensic examination, psychological testing, or polygraph testing to resolve these questions.

Sincerely

Gary Freedman

1 comment:

Gary Freedman said...

The National Enquirer is a client of David Kendall (Williams & Connolly).