Four special agents in the FBI’s Atlanta office have been told they face possible disciplinary action for their roles in the case of former Olympics bombing suspect Richard Jewell, a senior bureau official said Saturday.
It was the second reported instance indicating the bureau is preparing to take action against some in its ranks for their treatment of Jewell.
A senior FBI executive, David Tubbs, was notified last month that he might be suspended for up to 15 days for his involvement in the case. Tubbs, the special agent in charge of the bureau’s Kansas City office, had been detailed to Atlanta to help supervise the investigation of the Centennial Olympic Park bombing, which killed one person, led to the death of another and injured 111 people.
The other four FBI agents in Atlanta were cited for poor judgment but no criminal wrongdoing. They have been advised they could receive sanctions ranging from reprimands to short suspensions without pay, according to the bureau official, who confirmed a report first published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The four were identified as Woody Johnson, who runs the Atlanta office; his deputy, A.B. Llewellyn; and special agents Diader Rosario and Don Johnson.
All five agents notified of possible disciplinary action are being given the opportunity to respond to the allegations before the bureau makes a final decision on what action to take.
Word of the possible sanctions is the latest chapter in a bombing investigation that has yet to yield an arrest but instead has put FBI actions under scrutiny.
Jewell was working as a security guard at the Olympic park when, during a crowded, early morning outdoor concert, he noticed a suspiciously isolated backpack. He reported it to police and was helping to clear the area when a pipe bomb in the backpack exploded.
Hailed initially as a hero, Jewell became a suspect in the investigation within three days of the bombing, his name leaked to news organizations. Last October, after several months of being hounded by FBI agents and journalists, Jewell was officially removed as a suspect in the federal probe.
At issue is whether FBI agents tried to trick Jewell by asking him to star in a training video, when in fact they were trying to get him to provide incriminating details about the bombing.
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