The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is, of course, the primary federal alphabet agency tasked with regulating firearms in this country. It has not been without its controversies over the years. Who could forget the ATF’s involvement in the infamous Fast and Furious gun-walking operation, shipping firearms to Mexican drug cartels?
On the tobacco side of the regulation business, there was the “cigarette-walking” scandal in which hundreds of millions of coffin nails were sold in an alleged sting operation…with some of the profits left unaccounted for.
And then there were the six storefront sting operations the agency ran, supposedly to buy drugs and guns from felons. In the process, the Agency
entrapped used teenagers and the mentally challenged to promote their phony businesses.
Now the Associated Press posts this brief story . . .
A supervisor for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Seattle is receiving a $450,000 settlement after complaining of racial harassment from a co-worker with a Nazi tattoo.
The Seattle Times reports Cheryl Bishop, a senior supervisory agent who is black, complained of harassment from Bradley Devlin, the bureau’s resident agent in charge in Eugene, Oregon.
Devlin has a “German Eagle SS Lightning bolt” tattoo he says he got infiltrating a white supremacist biker gang in Ohio.
Bishop sued the ATF in 2018, saying the agency retaliated and scuttled her appointment to work at headquarters after she filed a discrimination complaint against Devlin.
Devlin said in court documents he is not racist and called Bishop’s complaints absurd.
He described their conflict as based on personality, not race.
Looking at the much more detailed Seattle Times story, Agent Bishop not only will receive $450,000 from the US Treasury, she’ll also get a face-to-face meeting with the ATF’s acting director as part of the civil rights lawsuit settlement.
And a ring.
In addition to the cash payout, Cheryl Bishop, a senior supervisory agent in Seattle and former bomb-dog handler, will receive a ring commemorating a previous assignment as the first female member of the ATF’s Special Response Team (SRT). The ring will be presented to Bishop during a meeting with ATF Acting Director Regina Lombardo.
About that Nazi Tattoo . . .
According to court documents, Devlin has worn a Nazi-themed tattoo — showing what’s described as a “German Eagle SS Lightning Bolt” — since the early 2000s. He says he got it while working undercover to infiltrate an Ohio white-supremacist biker gang called The Order of Blood. That operation led to several arrests.
Though his bosses have said they were “appalled,” Devlin hasn’t had the tattoo removed. The agency has said it would pay for the procedure.
Devlin’s tattoo, along with a series of emails sent from his ATF account mocking black people and then-President Barack Obama, were at the heart of Bishop’s lawsuit. Devlin was Bishop’s supervisor in Seattle from 2009 to 2011 and she alleges he has continued to disparage her work since.
As it turns out, Devlin’s not happy either.
After the agency learned that Devlin still had the tattoo and had sent the emails, the ATF withdrew his pending promotion to the agency’s Internal Affairs division. As a result, Devlin has claimed in a letter to ATF that he is being discriminated against “based upon my race” because he expressed his opinion about Bishop’s qualifications.
Your tax dollars at work. Or not.