Mutiny at EEOC?

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), May 18, 2006 | Go to article overview

Mutiny at EEOC?


Byline: John McCaslin, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Mutiny at EEOC?

Our story begins when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) extended an invitation to the president and general counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity, Roger Clegg, to be part of a panel discussion originally scheduled for yesterday to strike a balance between diversity and affirmative action.

Per the commission's request, Mr. Clegg, the former No. 2 official in the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division under President Reagan and the first President Bush, on Thursday submitted his written statement to the EEOC. But the very next day, the center now states, Mr. Clegg was informed that the commission's chairwoman, Cari M. Dominguez, decided to withdraw his invitation.

Mr. Clegg, the center says, learned from an unnamed source that career staff at the EEOC threatened "mutiny" if he were to participate; not to mention that several "establishment civil rights groups" had called to object to his testimony (now posted at www.ceousa.org.)

On Tuesday, the EEOC posted notice that the panel meeting was "cancelled." When reached yesterday, EEOC spokesman Charles Robbins told Inside the Beltway that the notice instead should have stated that the meeting was "postponed, not cancelled."

Mr. Robbins also made clear that Miss Dominguez never personally spoke to Mr. Clegg, either to "invite or uninvite" him.

"Those are not accurate attributions to the chair," he said of the charges, "nor did she direct anybody to say that."

As for postponing the testimony, Mr. Robbins explained that the EEOC "needed more preparation," and he drew attention to four similar meetings postponed since the start of 2005.

"We weren't ready," he said.

Mr. Clegg doesn't buy it. In an interview with Inside the Beltway yesterday, he said: "I think the unpleasant truth is that there are a lot of companies [and universities] out there that are engaging in illegal discrimination in the name of diversity, and the career staff at the EEOC doesn't want to enforce the laws against them.

"Unfortunately, the political appointees over there are unwilling to confront the career staff. And I think part of that is they don't want bad publicity, part is because they are under pressure from outside civil rights groups, and part is they have their own ambitions to go on to their next job all things that make it unpleasant to rain on the parade on affirmative action.

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