The man responsible for blowing the whistle on Operation Fast and Furious by posting allegations of gunwalking on his website says he was unceremoniously dismissed from his role as an agent with the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) this Tuesday. And not only that, but he claims he was handed his termination papers in a Denny’s Parking Lot. And a video has now surfaced allegedly showing how it went down:
The agent in question is Special Agent Vince Cefalu, a 25 year veteran of ATF with a track record that is, but for his whistle-blowing over Fast and Furious, apparently spotless. Prior to his firing (which Cefalu plans to appeal), Cefalu first began blowing the whistle on administrative incompetence and corruption within the ATF as far back as 2005, when he blew the whistle on illegal usage of wiretapping in a local case.
Needless to say, this did not endear Special Agent Cefalu to his colleagues, who over the intervening 12 years began to steadily receive worse and worse reviews from management, seemingly as a means of retaliation for his “jumping the chain of command.”
However, Cefalu claims that the allegations that truly pushed him past the point of no return were his claims of gunwalking that would eventually be validated in the form of the Fast and Furious scandal. The fact that he blew the whistle on this type of operation is – Cefalu claims – the primary reason he was served with a termination notice. A post following his dismissal and detailing his intent to appeal makes this argument forcefully, claiming that the charges against Cefalu are fabricated:
Notwithstanding the transparently trumped-up nature of the so-called “charges” in question, proposing a termination and then excuting it over a year and a half later is prima facie evidence that the action is unsustainable and is virtually certain to be reversed on appeal.
Moreover, the allegations used as a basis for the adverse action are laughably unfounded, deliberately fabricated, and relied largely on the testimony of ATF officials who committed easily-provable felony perjury in open court and later in sworn depositions. I herein predict that a number of the people involved in this grotesque act of bald-faced unlawful retaliation and obstruction of justice will do significant jail time before this is all over.
I will also say with confidence that this was by far the stupidest , most ill-advised course of action that they (ATF management) could possibly have taken in this case. Rather than quietly settling what a mediocre first-year law student would recognize to be a Hindenburg of a losing case (for them), ATF just substantially amplified the damages award that Cefalu will, in my opinion, recover at trial. Talk about stepping in it.
It’s well-known that ATF management and their viciously corrupt counsel are, for the most part, brutally self-serving and mean-spirited. But this Cefalu termination is nevertheless surprising in its utter incomprehensibility under the circumstances, from purely legal and elemental federal labor law standpoints. If they had any prayer of making the action stick, they had to do it more than a year ago, before so many additional events have transpired that will render the termination plainly unlawful and inescapably untenable. It’s just plain moronic no matter how you slice it.
It seems apparent that ATF’s leadership at all levels has degenerated to a pathetic state of paroxysmal, shoot-from-the-hip incompetence. They can’t even do the wrong thing right.
Naturally enough, ATF denies that any retaliation took place. Fox News has the agency’s non-explanation below:
The ATF, though, has previously denied that it was retaliating against Cefalu.
ATF spokesman Drew Wade confirmed that Cefalu “separated” from the agency on Tuesday, though Wade could not comment further.
“Because of privacy laws and internal policies, we can’t talk about personnel matters,” he said.
Townhall.com’s Katie Pavlich has reposted an article that Cefalu wrote for Townhall Magazine this February that explains the process by which he went about acting as a whistleblower, and that raises the specter of ATF corruption in detail. This paragraph in particular sums it up:
At no time in my career prior to becoming a complainant against my own agency—the agency I love and have been honored to serve— could I have ever been convinced I would be the poster boy for whistleblowers and challenges to corrupt government. As a young Marine military policeman, I was thrilled, proud and honored to be in law enforcement. I never considered it work.
Needless to say, this type of action is likely to receive scrutiny from other branches of government, with the most likely source of that scrutiny being House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, who is notable for being especially tenacious in his pursuit of wrongdoing in the Fast and Furious case.