Sherry Chen, Falsely Accused, Wins and is Restored to Her Job Protecting the American People

Posted on April 26, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (中文见下) Contact: Charlotte Li, Director of Policy media@committee100.org or 212-371-6565     Sherry Chen, Falsely Accused, Wins and is Restored to Her Job Protecting the American People    (New York, NY, April 26, 2018) – Sherry Chen, a naturalized citizen of the United States, has won in her lengthy struggle against the federal […]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(中文见下)

Contact: Charlotte Li, Director of Policy
media@committee100.org or 212-371-6565

 

 

Sherry Chen, Falsely Accused, Wins and is Restored to Her Job Protecting the American People 

 

(New York, NY, April 26, 2018) – Sherry Chen, a naturalized citizen of the United States, has won in her lengthy struggle against the federal government to restore her good name. An award winning civil servant whose work predicting floods saved American lives, Chen was wrongly accused of crimes such as espionage, on behalf of China. In a criminal case that attracted nationwide attention including front-page coverage in the New York Times [here and here] and a profile on the 60 Minutes television show, she had already prevailed — prosecutors walked away from all charges against her, meaning she was and is as innocent as anyone else protected by our ideals of due process. Yet the National Weather Service terminated her from employment doing the job she loved at its offices near Cincinnati, Ohio.

Determined to stand up and speak out, Sherry challenged the termination decision through the Merit Systems Protection Board, an administrative system meant to protect hard-working public employees such as her. On April 23, the decision was issued that ordered she be returned to her work on behalf of the public and be given backpay. While the judge found that the agency could subject Sherry to a 15-day suspension (the “maximum reasonable penalty”) for a single comment in an email that had absolutely nothing to do with the more sensational allegations against her, the decision is a resounding victory for Sherry.

In the 118-page opinion, the judge also found:

Ms. Chen asserts that she is the “victim of a gross injustice.” After reviewing the evidence and testimony in this matter I believe Ms. Chen’s assertion is correct . . . It was, however, extremely evident by their demeanor, that both [decision-makers] were simply digging their heels in when it came time to support the decision they had made. . . . In short, [they] seemed more concerned about being right than doing the right thing. Based on the unyielding nature of their testimony, I would not have been surprised if they rejected that 2 + 2 = 4.

Based on the findings set forth above, I question whether I could sustain any of these specifications because of the poorly phrased questions along with the agents taking Ms. Chen’s responses out of context.

[The decision-makers] were unable to consider some documentary evidence because it was not in the agency file, [which the judge described as] “puzzling” and “troubling.”

Many others have helped Sherry, especially immigrants and those who believe our ideals of equal protection, seeing that she was the victim of racial profiling. As testimony showed, investigators assumed Sherry, born in China, would be disloyal to America even though she has lived here almost all her adult life. The Committee of 100 has supported Sherry through its Legal Defense & Education Fund during her campaign for fairness. In addition to Sherry’s case, C100 has identified others where individuals who are contributing to society have been singled out, for no reason other than their racial background. Professor Xiaoxing Xi, another naturalized citizen of the United States, has been featured in the press alongside Sherry in another, similar case with prosecutors dropping all of their claims. Dr. Wen Ho Lee, also a naturalized citizen, experienced the same unfair prejudice a generation ago.

These cases show that we have much to do to live up to our principles, but the individuals can make a difference with the community supporting them.


The Committee of 100 (C100) is a non-profit leadership organization of prominent Chinese Americans in business, government, academia, and the arts. Founded by world renowned architect I.M. Pei and internationally acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, among others, it is an institution for U.S. citizens of Chinese heritage to join by invitation based on their extraordinary achievements. For over 25 years, C100 has served as a preeminent organization committed to the twin missions of promoting full participation of Chinese Americans in all aspects of American life, and encouraging constructive relations between the peoples of the United States and Greater China. www.committee100.org

 

###


联络人: 李茸,政策总监
media@committee100.org 或 212-371-6565

 

 

 

 

陈霞芬被诬指间谍案 复职上诉获全胜

 

(美国纽约州纽约市,2018年4月26日) — 美国归化公民陈霞芬终于在与联邦政府的长期抗争中获胜,得以恢复名誉。作为一位曾经荣获嘉奖的公职人员,陈霞芬的工作是预测洪水警情以保护美国人民的生命财产安全,但她却被错误地指控为代表中国从事间谍活动。这一刑事案件受到全美关注,为《纽约时报》头版 (报道链接报道链接) 和电视节目《新闻六十分钟》所报道。陈霞芬在此案中大获全胜,检方被迫放弃了对她的全部指控,这意味着她过去是、现在仍然是无辜者,像其他人一样受我们的正当程序理念所保护。然而,美国国家气象局却终止了对她的聘任,使得她无法在俄亥俄州辛辛那提的办公室从事她所热爱的工作。

陈霞芬选择了挺身而出,通过考绩制度保护委员会对国家气象局终止聘任的决定提出了上诉申请,而该委员会旨在保护像她一样勤奋工作的政府雇员。4月23日,委员会作出决定,代表公众要求让她重返工作岗位,并为其补发工资。尽管法官发现,气象局可以因一份电子邮件中的某个评论予以陈霞芬停职15天的处罚(此为“最大限度合理处罚”),但是这与此前对她耸人听闻的间谍活动指控毫无关系。委员会的决定为陈霞芬奏响了嘹亮的胜利号角。

在这份长达118页的意见书中,法官还表示:

陈女士坚称,她是“严重不公的受害者”。在审阅过此案的证据和证词后,我相信陈女士的声言是正确的……

然而,两位(决策者)的行为就是很好的证明,他们只挖掘支持他们决定的证据……简言之,(他们)似乎更在意自己是正确的一方,而不是做正确的事。根据他们证词显示的顽固个性,即使他们否定2+2=4我也不觉得奇怪。

根据上述调查结果,基于调查员以混乱措辞罗织的问题,以及对陈女士回应的断章取义,我怀疑我能否接受这些仲裁的任何内容。

(决策者们)表示之所以不考虑一些文件证据,是因为这些证据不在当局的档案中,(法官形容)这是“令人困惑”和“令人不安”的。

很多人在这个过程中帮助了陈霞芬,尤其是移民和那些相信平等保护理念的人们,他们将陈霞芬视作种族定性的受害者。正如证词所显示,尽管陈霞芬成年后的大部分人生都在美国渡过,调查人员仍然假定出生于中国的她会对美国不忠诚。在陈霞芬追求公正的努力过程中,百人会一直通过法律援助和教育基金对陈霞芬给予支持。除了陈霞芬的案例,百人会还发现其他对社会有贡献的人士由于其种族背景而被区别对待。例如,美国归化公民郗小星教授因一起类似的案件,与陈霞芬一道受到媒体报道,该案最终以检察官放弃所有指控作结。上一代中,同样也是美国归化公民的李文和博士,也曾遭受同样的不公正待遇。

这些案例表明,仍然有待努力,才能达致我们的原则,但是,在社群的支持下,单独的个人也可以让世界变得不同。


百人会(简称:C100)是由杰出美籍华人组成的非营利组织,成员来自商界、政界、学界及各艺术领域,由蜚声全球的建筑大师贝聿铭及大提琴演奏家马友友等人发起成立,会员依据个人杰出成就凭邀请入会。成立近30年来,百人会汇集其杰出会员的集体力量,始终致力于其两大使命,即推动美籍华人在美国社会生活中的全面参与,促进美国及大中华地区间建设性关系的发展。更多信息: www.committee100.org.

###

Tags

Related Updates

C100 Civic Leaders Delegation Praise Breadth and Quality of China Experience

Determined Sherry Chen Continues Quest for Justice

Committee of 100 Honors Dr. David M. Lampton with Lifetime Achievement Award for Advancing U.S.-China Relations

RELATED INITIATIVES

RELATED PROJECTS

RELATED REGIONS

  • Committee of 100

    Extraordinary Chinese Americans

  • Ensuring Full Inclusion in America
    Advancing U.S.-China Relations
  • Connect
  • Contact
  • 257 Park Avenue Sounth
    19th Fl.
    New York,NY 10010 Phone:212-371-6565
    Fax:212-371-9009

    c100@committee100.org

  • Sign Up For Updates