'Fast and Furious' supervisors were not promoted, ATF says
Supervisors did not receive salary or grade increases, agency says
Three supervisors in the controversial "Fast and Furious" gun-trafficking investigation were transferred to lateral jobs -- and not promoted. That's the official word from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives who addressed the issue last week. "They did not receive salary or grade increases, nor did they assume positions with greater responsibility," the agency said in a short statement. Of course, there are many who disagree with the official story as the matter receives increased scrutiny from a concerned public.
The ATF says William G. McMahon, field operations deputy assistant director, was reassigned to a position with the Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations, filling a spot that had been vacant for more than a year.
The House committee investigating "Fast and Furious" asked the ATF to explain the new jobs and to confirm whether or not McMahon, Newell and Voth had been promoted. The ATF's acting director Kenneth E. Melson, told the Oversight and Government Reform Committee staff that the jobs were not considered promotions because as no one received a raise in pay.
"Operation Fast and Furious" was an operation that sought to identify Mexican drug cartel leaders and gun-smuggling routes across the border. The ATF allowed straw purchasers to buy weapons in the U.S., planning to track the guns to Mexico and drug cartel leaders.
Many of these weapons vanished and later turned up at crime scenes throughout Mexico and the U.S., including at the slaying of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Arizona last December.
Melson announced cited McMahon's "skills and abilities" he demonstrated throughout his career.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, three ATF agents told The Los Angeles, Times that they were surprised at what they viewed as promotions to headquarters.
"Media reports inaccurately characterized personnel changes . as promotions," the ATF said in a statement.
The ATF said McMahon, field operations deputy assistant director, was reassigned to a position with the Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations, filling a spot that had been vacant for more than a year.
The ATF also said that Newell, who ran the ATF's Arizona and New Mexico field office during Fast and Furious, was reassigned to the Office of Management to assist with congressional and inspector general's investigations into the failed operation.
Voth was reassigned to a headquarters position. "These transfers/reassignments have never been described as promotions in any of the documents announcing them," the ATF's statement said.
Of course, there are many who disagree with the official story as the matter receives increased scrutiny from a concerned public. This unfolding story is far from over.
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