May 26, 2010
Posted: 04:52 PM ET
It seems like every time we turn around there’s another report about a student being bullied at school. You’d think when a bully gets older, that kind of behavior would somehow go away. But maybe it doesn’t.
Recently, I interviewed a special agent with ATF. He’s been at the agency for nearly 24 years. Most of his time there was spent going undercover. He’s worked on cases involving white supremacist groups and the Hell’s Angels and murder for hire. If anyone were capable of intimidating someone or being a bully, I would think it would be him. But he told me he feels that he is the one being bullied by “bureaucrats” at ATF.
Vince Cefalu has filed a bunch of complaints dating back to 2006. But he says the one that really got him in trouble was his whistleblower complaint.
Cefalu says he was working in the property department and noticed there was missing equipment. He says he told his superiors about his discovery and they told him to “shut up.” He reported his findings anyway, and he said that is when the retaliation and bullying really began. He became an outcast. He says he was given a desk job, with no real responsibilities. All he does is sit there for eight hours, and then leaves. He says he considers this kind of work, the worst kind of punishment, and feels managers at ATF are trying to bully him into leaving the agency. It hasn’t worked yet.
Kenneth Melson, who runs ATF as deputy director, told me there hasn’t been retaliation since he took over last year. He says he will not tolerate reprisals against employees.
I’m interested in hearing more about adult bullies. Have you ever encountered a bully at work? If so, what happened? Has anyone ever tried to bully you into quitting your job? Do you know of other federal agencies where employees feel bullying and retaliation is a part of the operation?
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