4. OIG findings regarding Roundup participation
by FBI employees
We identified eight current and three former FBI employees who attended Roundups. Seven of these individuals, [File no. 279], [File no. 350], [File no. 696], [File no. 963], [/ [File no. 963] only attended for several hours one afternoon in 1986. ] [File no. 1827], [File no. 897] and [File no. 970], [/ [File no. 970], who is no longer employed by DOJ, attended one day in 1984 to go whitewater rafting. ] did not attend any Roundups after 1988.
Three FBI agents, [File no. 332], [File no. 541], and [File no. 631] attended one Roundup in 1991. This group camped outside the main campground. Each of these individuals told us he spent very little time in the main campground, only entering it for meals and beer. They also claimed that they kept mostly to themselves.
[File no. 332] and [File no. 631] said they saw no racially offensive conduct. Both men recalled seeing two or three blacks at the Roundup, although they did not speak to them and could not identify them by name or agency. Notably, one of the other agents in the group, [File no. 541], is a minority member. [File no. 631] reported that [File no. 541] did not indicate to him that he felt unwelcome or had any problems at the Roundup due to his ethnicity. [File no. 332] and [File no. 631] believed there was no policy to exclude minorities from the Roundup. [File no. 332] decided not to return because he considered the Roundup "one long drunk" and too noisy. [File no. 631] decided not to return because the trip was too long and the Roundup was not as enjoyable as he thought it would be.
[File no. 541] is Hispanic. He did not observe any derogatory signs, pictures, or literature and did not see any evidence that there was any policy discouraging blacks or minorities from attending the Roundup. However, he felt "out of place" and "unwelcome" at the Roundup. Someone commented to him that the people in his group were the only "Northerners" there. He also recalled that someone looked at his first name and commented on its spelling. [ / [File no. 541] recalled that he was given a nametag on which his name was written and it was someone who saw this who made the comment. We could find no one else who said nametags were ever distributed. We believe this DOJ employee must be confused about this detail. ] [File no. 541] did not return because it was a long trip and it was "not worth it."
The only racist conduct we heard of at the 1991 Roundup was an allegation that someone suggested checking cars for "niggers" late at night when people drove back to the campground. These three agents told us they did not see any such activity and they would have had no reason to be in the line to enter the campground at night. We have no basis for believing they were aware of any racist activity.
Thus, we conclude that there is no evidence that these individuals participated in or encouraged any racist conduct when they attended the 1991 Roundup.
[File no. 324], an agent, also attended in 1991, driving the other FBI attendees to the Roundup. He returned each year after that, meeting friends from other agencies at the Roundup. Before he attended the first time he had been told that there were no blacks at previous Roundups. He did not expect to see many blacks there because he said he believed there were few black residents in the Ocoee area and few black law enforcement personnel in the region. He told us, however, that he had heard that there were racist signs at an earlier Roundup but that he had also heard they were taken down and the responsible parties were asked to leave. He said he believed that the signs must have been a joke, but did not explain why. He said he was never told that blacks or minorities were not welcome, and he invited and brought a minority agent [File no. 541] with him the first year he attended. He had the impression women would not be welcome, however, because the Roundup was so rowdy. He described the Roundup as "a party of tobacco chewing, beer drinking, and hell raising" -- an overall impression of "white males enjoying themselves."
He claimed he did not see any racist activity in 1991. He saw the Boyz on the Hood T-shirt but recalled that it was a racially diverse group of officers depicted and did not perceive it as racist. He recalled being taunted by other attendees because he was an FBI agent. He believed, therefore, that people who were initially viewed as outsiders might feel uncomfortable. He said, however, that the people who taunted him backed off when he told them he was only there to have a good time and they should just leave him alone.
He admitted that he saw the "pocket nigger" T-shirt in 1992 but said it was not sanctioned by the Roundup. He said that in 1992 or 1993 he saw someone handing out David Duke literature and that he complained to a member of the MOB, who told him the person had been told to leave and was off pouting about it. [ / His description of this incident appears to be confusing events from 1992 and 1993. In 1992 Hayward distributed the Duke materials but was not ejected. In 1993 he was prevented from entering and sat in a field and was upset. ] He recalled that in 1994 a black TVA officer had come to the Roundup but left when he was called a "nigger." Although he said he thought this "was not right," he did not report this incident to anyone or apparently take any action to see that the individual who had used the epithet was removed. He saw the O.J. T-shirt in 1995 but did not consider it racist. He saw a civilian selling NAAWP T-shirts in 1995.
We learned from a civilian who attended in 1995 that he told [File no. 324] that he (the civilian) had been accepted into the FBI and was waiting to start at the FBI academy, and [File no. 324] replied, "Great, we need more good white guys like you in the Bureau." [File no. 324] confirmed this conversation, claiming that he just meant this person seemed like a nice guy. He did not supply any reason why his qualifier "white guys" was relevant or appropriate.
[File no. 324] claimed he did not believe that the Roundup was a racist event. He felt that when a large group of people got together one could not control the behavior of others. He did believe, however, that the Roundup was extremely rowdy, many people got very drunk and were very noisy, and that they had gotten out of control. He frequently saw nudity, drunkenness, strippers, and women "pawed" at the campground. He saw a retired suburban police officer riding a motorcycle naked along Highway 64. He saw a retired Jacksonville, Florida, deputy sheriff riding a motorcycle naked around the open fields with an inflatable "love doll." [ / The love doll was a birthday gift given to [File no. 324] by his friends. ] In 1993 or 1994 someone fired off some shots from a weapon. In 1995 he saw displayed at the registration desk an enlarged photograph from 1994 of a retired suburban Alabama officer urinating in his trousers.
He told us that, because of their disgust with the Roundup, in 1994 the members of the group with whom he attended decided that they would not return in 1995 but would get together on their own. When 1995 came around, however, they had failed to make alternate arrangements, so they returned. One of their group, a Treasury employee, decided not to join them because of his unhappiness with the behavior at the Roundup. After the 1995 Roundup they again agreed they would not return. One of their group, an agent with the Treasury Department, wrote a letter to Rightmyer telling him to take his name off the Roundup mailing list because of the level of intoxication of attendees, the existence of law enforcement officers who exposed themselves on the highway, the presence of women he believed were prostitutes, and the profane language used.
[File no. 324]'s continued attendance and conduct at the Roundup is extremely troubling. His statement to the new recruit that, "Great, we need more good white guys like you in the Bureau," is an explicitly racist comment. The inappropriateness of his comment in 1995 assumes an even greater magnitude in light of the extent of his knowledge regarding racist conduct at previous Roundups. For an unknown reason, he was specifically told in advance of his first Roundup that blacks had not attended. He described the activities as "white males" having fun. He was aware that racist signs had been posted at a previous Roundup. Although he was aware that the Buckwheat and NAAWP T-shirts were being sold, he appears to have been totally insensitive to the racially hostile environment created by such shirts. While he claimed to have complained to a MOB regarding Hayward's Duke materials, he does not claim to have said anything about these T-shirts. Despite reporting to have been aware of a black officer leaving in 1994 after hearing a racial slur, he had no knowledge that any action had been taken in response and he took none himself. Furthermore, despite explicitly recognizing in 1994 that the Roundup as a whole had gotten out of control, he returned. His decision to return to the Roundup, particularly in light of his previous observations, demonstrates extremely poor judgment. We believe that this individual's repeated participation in an event for which he had ample notice of racist activity, not all of which was acted upon by Roundup organizers, together with his making an explicitly racist remark, warrant the imposition of discipline.