FBI Agents in Firing Line Riled About Mueller Extension

Friday, 20 May 2011 10:44 AM

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Top FBI agents facing term limits of their own are angry about President Barack Obama’s plan to extend the tenure of FBI Director Robert Mueller two years beyond his 10-year term. Hundreds of supervisors have had to retire, accept demotions, or compete for other jobs under rules adopted after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, The Washington Post reported.

Congress is considering Obama’s request for an extension of Mueller’s term, which the president said is necessary to provide stability. FBI Agents Association President Konrad Motyka told the Post that he understands the “desire for stability. But people are saying, ‘What about my stability?’ It’s ironic that this desire for stability did not apply to supervisors within the FBI.’’

The FBI’s supervisor policy, which is known as “up or out,” requires top agents to leave their posts after seven years. They must compete for other managerial jobs, retire or accept a demotion and lower pay, the Post reported.

FBI officials counter that the policy has led to stronger managers while critics contend it robbed the agency of veterans who took early retirement. According to the FBI, half of the 1,055 agents the policy affected were advanced to higher position, and the rest chose to retire, were demoted, or resigned. Agents have filed suit in federal court in Washington, alleging that the policy amounts to age discrimination, the Post reported.

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