- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Rep. Albert R. Wynn yesterday said he will push for legislation next month that will beef up anti-discrimination laws that apply to federal agencies.

Mr. Wynn, Maryland Democrat, said the No Fear Act of 2002 has been ineffective in protecting minority workers because it has not penalized those who are found guilty of discrimination.

“It has not worked as well as we had hoped. The bill needs more teeth,” Mr. Wynn said at a Capitol Hill press conference, at which he was joined by religious leaders, including the Rev. Walter E. Fauntroy.

“Because there are so many who are being impoverished by the failure to implement ‘No Fear I,’ we are here to insist that there be a No Fear II,” said Mr. Fauntroy, a former aide to the Martin Luther King and former congressional delegate from the District of Columbia.

The bill would be sponsored by Rep. John Conyers Jr., Michigan Democrat, who will chair the House Judiciary Committee when Democrats take control of the chamber in January.

The event was sponsored by the No Fear Institute, a nonprofit, which was created to “monitor the implementation of the No Fear Act.”

Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, a member of the group who works at the Environmental Protection Agency, said there are “loopholes” in the law that have allowed racial discrimination to continue unpunished.

Mrs. Coleman-Adebayo said the government is not keeping reliable statistics on the amount of discrimination complaints within the federal agencies.

She also said that since the law was passed, no federal managers have been fired or disciplined, and that the government should criminalize racial discrimination. Mr. Wynn said that federal agencies are not conducting sufficient “diversity training.”

Matthew F. Fogg, a U.S. marshal since 1978, said he has been harassed by co-workers and managers for filing racial-discrimination complaints.

Mr. Fogg said that after he filed the complaint in 1986, other marshals left him by himself in the midst of a shootout, endangering his life. A U.S. Marshals Service spokesman said Mr. Fogg’s story was unlikely.

“The claims of Matthew Fogg do not accurately reflect the actions or proceedings of the United States Marshals,” said Dave Turner, a spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service. “We cannot comment on his particular case, however, because it is still in the adjudication process.”

Mr. Fogg said legal arguments in the case are scheduled for Jan. 12.

Mrs. Coleman-Adebayo said the No Fear Institute is working more closely with black churches than in the past.

“We decided we need to go back to our roots, and that is the black church,” she said. “We need a base. We need to be rooted in something that has real power.”

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