Letters and Statements by the Sherry Chen Legal Defense Fund
2018/11/19 Appeal to DOC for Response to FOIA Request (English)
The Fund files an appeal with the Acting Assistant Secretary for Administration at the Department of Commerce (DOC) for a response to its May 31, 2018 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. According to 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(A)(i), the statutory requirement for a simple request is 20 working days. Erratum: courtesy copy identification should be Peter J. Toren, Esq.
2018/08/15 Turning Over Whistleblower Letter to DOC Inspector General (English)
The Fund turns over a whistleblower letter to the Inspector General (IG) at the Department of Commerce on August 15, 2018. The whistleblower letter alleges abuse of authority and targeting of Ms. Sherry Chen and employees of Asian ancestry in DOC. It provides the identity of offices, individual names, and specific incidents. The IG Office has assigned a complaint number: 18-0999. The Fund's cover letter explains the need to protect the whistleblower, ensure integrity of the process, and preserve evidence. In addition, the Fund requests the IG to provide its intake process and standard operating procedures that would include, but are not limited to, third-party oversight, basic steps and potential timetable, and reports of progress and findings. The Fund requests that all reports shall be made public.
2018/07/13 Response to Department of Commerce Inspector General Office (English)
The Fund responds to the Inspector General's inquiry on 3 basic points: (1) the standing of the Fund, (2) not start an investigation when the case is under litigation and (3) turnover of the whistleblower letter. In particular, the letter explains the standing of the Fund. A separate IG investigation on the whistleblower letter was requested because the continuing profiling practice can harm and injure additional employees of Asian ancestry. The letter cites that the refusal of not starting an investigation when there is ongoing litigation is not based on law or stated policy. The letter requests an exemption from the claimed “general practice” such that an investigation (or review) of the public resources and funds that DOC has already spent on the Sherry Chen case at four different stages in the last six years may proceed without further delay.
2018/06/27 How You Can Help Sherry Chen (English | 中文)
The Sherry Chen Legal Defense Fund responds to public inquiries on how they can help to support Sherry Chen after the Department of Commerce files an appeal to the MSPB decision.
2018/06/05 Supplemental Requests to Department of Commerce Inspector General (English)
The letter informs the Inspector General about a whistleblower letter that alleges abuse of authority and targeting of Ms. Sherry Chen and individuals of Asian ancestry in the Department of Commerce (DOC). The Fund also requests the Inspector General to add an area of investigation about the economy and efficiency of the adverse actions taken by DOC against Ms. Chen to the original request made by the Congressional Asian American Pacific Caucus (CAPAC) on May 23.
2018/05 How You Can Help Sherry Chen (English | 中文)
The Sherry Chen Legal Defense Fund responds to public inquiries on how they can help to support Sherry Chen after the May 23 Capitol Hill Press Conference.
2018/05/31 FOIA Request Filed with Department of Commerce (English)
The request is made to obtain information on the filling of the position of director of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in 2014. The requested information will contribute significantly to the public’s understanding of the compliance of the Department of Commerce’s operations or activities with the policies and guidelines of the Office of Personnel Management. The basic function of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is to ensure informed citizens, vital to the functioning of a democratic society.
2018/05/15 Letter to Senior Executives Association (English)
The letter to Mr. Bill Valdez, President of the Senior Executives Association (SEA) expresses concerns that Ms. Laura Furgione, the Department of Commerce proposing official to terminate Ms. Chen's employment, is serving on the Board of Directors for the Senior Executives Association. The stated SEA core values “a passion for public service leadership exhibiting the highest standards of integrity, professional excellence, and accountability.” The letter requests the SEA to take specific actions with Ms. Furgione in light of the recent MSPB decision.
2018/05/10 Letter to Donors and Friends (English | 中文)
The letter informs donors and friends about the Merit Systems Protection Board decision and findings. They are encouraged to write to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross requesting him to comply with the MSPB decision and initiate a thorough and independent investigation of the problems identified by the MSPB.
2018/05/09 Letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross (English | 中文)
The letter requests his objective review and follow-up actions to correct the problems at multiple levels of the Department of Commerce that were identified by the recent Merit Systems Protection Board decision. The letter urges the Secretary to (a) comply with the MSPB order to reinstate Ms. Chen and provide her with back pay and benefits without further delay, (b) commute the maximum 15-day suspension on Ms. Chen’s “single lapse of judgement” in one email that is totally unrelated to the sensational charges against Ms. Chen, and (c) initiate a thorough and independent investigation into the conduct, economy, and efficiency of the adverse actions taken against Ms. Chen.
2018/04/24 MSPB Judge Agrees That Sherry Chen Is The “Victim Of Gross Injustice” (English | 中文)
The press statement describes the Merit Systems Protection Board decision overwhelmingly in favor of Sherry Chen and findings of gross mishandling of the Sherry Chen's case at multiple levels of the Department of Commerce.
2017/06/01 Update of the Sherry Chen Case After the MSPB Hearings (English)
The Fund provides a summary update of the Sherry Chen case after the MSPB hearings concluded in March 2017. "We remain hopeful that the judge will find that the agency lacked cause to fire Sherry and will order her immediate reinstatement. We also are hopeful that the judge will find, additionally, that the decision to fire Sherry was the result of discriminatory and retaliatory animus against her. We know how important Sherry’s case is in the critical fight against ethnic profiling of Chinese-Americans."
2017/03/02 Sherry Chen’s Upcoming MSPB Hearing: Fighting for Fairness and Justice for Herself & the Community (English | 中文)
The press statement announces the upcoming public hearing of Sherry Chen's appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) in Cincinnati, Ohio on March 14-15, 2017.
2016/01/27 帮助陈霞芬就是帮助我们自己 (中文)
陈霞芬做梦也没有想到自己的名字有一天会和李文和并列在一起。... 我们曾以为李文和案已经是久远的记忆，以为政府部门已经吸取教训不会再发动这种基于种族背景或者来源国的捕风捉影了。然而事实恰恰相反，司法部起诉的经济间谍案正以每年30%以上的速度增长，其中一半与中国有关。在这种杯弓蛇影，动辄得咎的气氛下，没有人是安全的！... 了解了陈霞芬的遭遇，很少有人会继续觉得这件事情与自己无关。如果我们不行动起来，类似的飞来横祸也许有一天就会落在你我的头上。