Justice Dept. hit with suit alleging racism

Las Vegas Sun
July 24, 2002

A former employee of the U. S. Attorney's Office in Las Vegas is suing the Department of Justice, claiming he was discriminated against while working there because he was Hispanic.

Robert Torres, who is Mexican-American, claims that during his tenure in the U. S. Attorney's Office in Las Vegas, Assistant U. S. Attorney Howard Zlotnick made repeated racist remarks against Torres and other Hispanics, according to the suit.

According to his complaint, when Torres, a supervisor, objected and refused to penalize employees who had filed similar complaints, Zlotnick and former U. S. Attorney Kathryn Landreth accused him of lying on his employment application and placed him on administrative leave with pay. At that point Torres initiated a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity section of the Department of Justice.

Torres, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, acquired a longstanding reputation for trustworthiness and honesty during his 24 years in the military, his attorneys said in the suit.

Los Angeles attorney David Spivak, lead counsel for Torres, declined to comment on the specifics of the case, saying that he “would prefer to let the complaint speak for itself.”




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