Alex Constantine - November 12, 2009
By RYAN ABBOTT
Courthouse News | November 09, 2009
WASHINGTON (CN) - The former Inspector General of the National Reconnaissance Office says senior officials in the CIA conspired to leak damaging information about him. Eric Feldman wants former CIA Inspector General John Helgerson prosecuted for violating the Privacy Act. He claims Helgerson and others leaked biased information from an internal investigation of Feldman's travel expenses.
The investigation claimed Feldman had filed for the same travel and lodging expenses twice and accused him of wasting government funds, but in his federal complaint, Feldman says the lead investigator, CIA agent Anthony Cipparone, had a personal vendetta against him because Feldman had passed him over for his deputy assistant position.
Feldman says Cipparone sent "numerous belligerent e-mails", claiming that Feldman had mistreated him. He claims Cipparone, Helgerson, and other CIA officials leaked information from the investigation to third parties, intending to hurt his reputation and remove him from the agency.
The investigation itself was classified to keep Feldman and his attorneys from reviewing it and formulating a defense, according to the complaint. When the CIA finally allowed Feldman and his attorneys to review the documents, they were not allowed to make copies, only to take notes, again, he says, in an effort to destroy his defense.
Feldman says that while he and his attorneys were kept in the dark, false rumors that he was under criminal investigation for fraudulently filling out expense forms circulated through DC and the Senate, prompting Senator John Rockefeller to call for his termination.
Feldman says he heard from numerous sources outside of the CIA that he was being investigated for fraud.
Feldman was removed from his position as Inspector General, but still serves as senior adviser to the director of the NRO. He wants the CIA agents who impugned his reputation prosecuted for Privacy Act violations, and unspecified monetary damages and attorney fees. He is represented by Mark Zaid.