Pigford: Vilsack-Sherrod Press Conference Raises Serious Questions


Congressman Steve King (R-IA) has issued the following statement in response to the press conference held this week between former USDA employee Shirley Sherrod and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. During the press conference, Sherrod revealed that she would not be accepting an offer of employment from Secretary Vilsack.

Other important questions, however, were not addressed by either Mrs. Sherrod or Secretary Vilsack.

“Before the press conference, we knew that Mrs. Sherrod was hired three days after being awarded $13 million in the nation’s largest civil rights case, Pigford v. Vilsack. We knew that Mrs. Sherrod was forced to pull over to the side of the road and send in her resignation. We knew that she had maintained that the White House pressured her to resign immediately.”

“After all the friendly gestures between Secretary Vilsack and Mrs. Sherrod, there are still several questions unanswered. Why is Secretary Vilsack taking responsibility for the decision when Mrs. Sherrod has maintained she was contacted by the White House? Did the White House demand Secretary Vilsack fire Mrs. Sherrod? Is she still being paid by the federal government? Has Mrs. Sherrod agreed not to file another lawsuit against Secretary Vilsack or the federal government? Was Shirley Sherrod granted an additional settlement in exchange for her silence and an agreement not to sue Vilsack again? Why is Mrs. Sherrod filing suit against Andrew Breitbart, but hugging the man who fired her?”

“Without transparency, the American people will never know the truth behind the thousands of fraudulent Pigford claims for $2.3 billion, will never know who really fired Shirley Sherrod and will never know if other potential agreements were made to keep Mrs. Sherrod quiet.”

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