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Judicial Watch • ATF Fast and Furious Whistleblower Complaint

ATF Fast and Furious Whistleblower Complaint

ATF Fast and Furious Whistleblower Complaint

Page 1: ATF Fast and Furious Whistleblower Complaint

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Number of Pages:5

Date Created:May 27, 2014

Date Uploaded to the Library:May 29, 2014

Tags:ATF, DOJ, FOIA


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  • demand_answers

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THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 
FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA 
 
JOHN DODSON, 
1976 West Silver Rose Place 
Tucson, 85737, 
Plaintiff, Civil Action No. 
U.S. DEPARTMENT JUSTICE, 
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. 
Washington, 20530, 
Defendant. 
 
COMPLAINT 
 
 Plaintiff John Dodson brings this action against Defendant U.S. Department Justice compel compliance with the Freedom Information Act, U.S.C.  552 (FOIA). grounds therefor, Plaintiff alleges follows: 
JURISDICTION AND VENUE The Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant U.S.C.  552(a)(4)(B) and U.S.C.  1331. Venue proper this district pursuant U.S.C.  1391(e).   
PARTIES Plaintiff John Dodson private citizen residing Tucson, Arizona. employed the U.S. Bureau Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATF). early 2011, blew the whistle the Fast and Furious program, which BATF allowed weapons walk across the border into the hands Mexican drug cartels, directly resulting the death U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and countless Mexican citizens. Defendant U.S. Department Justice U.S. Government agency and headquartered 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, 20530.  Defendant has possession, custody, and control records which Plaintiff seeks access. 
STATEMENT FACTS September 24, 2012, Plaintiff sent three FOIA requests Defendant seeking the production agency records related him and his whistleblower disclosures.  Specifically, Plaintiff sought copies of: Any and all e-mails between (either directed received from) DOJ Spokeswoman/Director Public Affairs Tracy Schmaler and Katherine Eban, between the dates January 20, 2011 and September 24, 2012. All e-mails (sent and received) DOJ Spokeswoman/Director Public Affairs Tracy Schmaler that contain the name John Dodson, Dodson, make reference any ATF whistleblower (whether directly stated implied), between the dates January 20, 2011 and September 24, 2012. All Department Justice communications generated between January 20, 2010 and September 24, 2012 including, but not limited to, emails, internal memos, letters, drafts, recordings and other documents, which refer (Special Agent John Dodson) whether name implication, make reference ATF whistleblower, whether directly stated implied. Excluded from this request are own ATF case files, case documents, and emails from ATF/DOJ email account. October 2012, Plaintiff provided Defendant with Certification Identity. letters dated October 22, 2012 and October 23, 2012, Defendant acknowledged receipt Plaintiffs FOIA requests and assigned them FOIA Case Numbers AG/12-01459, DAG/12-01460, ASG/12-01461, PAO/12-01462, OLA/12-01463, PAO/12-01437, and PAO/12-01435. Defendant was required determine whether comply with Plaintiffs requests within days receipt his requests, excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays, 
pursuant U.S.C.  552(a)(6)(A).  Pursuant this same provision, Defendant also was required notify Plaintiff immediately the determinations, the reasons therefor, and the right appeal any adverse determinations the head the agency.  Excluding weekends and the intervening Veterans Day (November 12, 2012) holiday, Defendant was required make its determination and provide Plaintiff with the requisite notifications November 21, 2012. August 29, 2013, Defendant informed Plaintiff that had conducted search the Office the Associate Attorney General for communications generated between January 20, 2010 and September 24, 2012 about Plaintiff.  Defendant also informed Plaintiff that did not find any records responsive that particular request within that particular office.  Defendant therefore informed Plaintiff that was closing FOIA Case Number ASG/12-01461. 
 10. Since October 2012, Defendant has provided Plaintiff with status updates concerning the processing the remainder his FOIA requests, which have been assigned FOIA Case Numbers AG/12-01459, DAG/12-01460, PAO/12-01462, OLA/12-01463, PAO/12-01437, and PAO/12-01435. 
11. However, the date this Complaint, Defendant has failed make any determinations about whether will comply with the remainder Plaintiffs FOIA requests, notify Plaintiff any determinations, notify Plaintiff his right appeal any adverse determinations the head the agency.  Nor has Defendant produced any records responsive the remainder his requests, indicated when any responsive records will produced, demonstrated that responsive records are exempt from production.      
 12. Because Defendant failed comply with the time limit set forth U.S.C.  552(a)(6)(A), Plaintiff deemed have exhausted any and all administrative remedies with 
respect the remainder his FOIA requests, which have been assigned FOIA Case Numbers AG/12-01459, DAG/12-01460, PAO/12-01462, OLA/12-01463, PAO/12-01437, and PAO/12-01435, pursuant U.S.C.  552(a)(6)(C). 
      COUNT 
(Violation FOIA, U.S.C.  552) 
 
 13. Plaintiff realleges paragraphs through fully stated herein. 
 14. Defendant unlawfully withholding records requested Plaintiff pursuant U.S.C.  552.   
 15. Plaintiff being irreparably harmed reason Defendants unlawful withholding requested records, and Plaintiff will continue irreparably harmed unless Defendant compelled conform its conduct the requirements the law. 
 WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully requests that the Court: (1) order Defendant conduct searches for any and all records responsive Plaintiffs FOIA requests and demonstrate that employed search methods reasonably likely lead the discovery records responsive Plaintiffs FOIA requests; (2) order Defendant produce, date certain, any and all non-exempt records responsive Plaintiffs FOIA requests and Vaughn index any responsive records withheld under claim exemption; (3) enjoin Defendant from continuing withhold any and all non-exempt records responsive Plaintiffs FOIA requests; (4) grant Plaintiff award attorneys fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred this action pursuant U.S.C.  552(a)(4)(E); and (5) grant Plaintiff such other relief the Court deems just and proper. 
  
Dated:  May 28, 2014     Respectfully submitted, 
 
        /s/ Michael Bekesha   
        Michael Bekesha 
        D.C. Bar No. 995749 
        JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. 
        425 Third Street S.W., Suite 800 
        Washington, 20024 
        (202) 646-5172 
         
        Counsel for Plaintiff



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