Aviation Attorney: African-American FAA Employee Advocacy Group Helped Applicants Cheat on Biographical Assessments

Tuesday on Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” host Tucker Carlson reported the Department of Transportation Inspector General found in 2016 the National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees (NBCFAE), a so-called advocacy group for African-American FAA employees, helped people “cheat” on the air traffic controller biographical assessment.

According to Carlson’s guest, aviation attorney Michael Pearson, despite having the biographical assessment crafted in a way to favor them, the NBCFAE coached applicants on how to answer questionnaires to better their chances.

“[I]t was an employee group,” Pearson explained. “The National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees certainly did that. It was a process started from early 2012, 2013. There was a group within that organization who determined that the makeup of the workforce was too white. They wanted to get a more diverse workforce. They started lobbying through the political process, which you are certainly allowed to.”

“However, they then crafted this BQ exam,” he continued. “It’s not a screening test. It actually turned out the scoring group could actually penalize people with aviation experience — pilots, air traffic controllers. And then to make it worse, they had folks stand in line for this test, that somebody in the NBCFAE had apparently got the answers to and coached other people how to pass the test. So, not only were our best and brightest, as the FAA says, actually purged off of the list, they were then forced through a screening process that discriminated against them intentionally on the scoring of the test. So most if not the great majority of them failed that exam, while, people were given the answers on how to pass the test and even more important.”

Pearson explained that according to information he acquired through the open records and legal processes, he learned exceptions were granted to the offending party by the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General.

Even more important, recent documents show that when this individual was interviewed, he gave a written statement saying that he didn’t do that. Then he went to a verbal interview with a DOT OIG criminal investigator, said he didn’t do it. He had his attorney with him. Incredibly, the DOT OIG investigator allowed him to see witness statements contradicting that, and then allowed him to go out of the room with his attorney, come back in and change his story. That is just not done. Anybody in law enforcement or the law from the legal side, from an attorney’s side, or a criminal investigation side knows that that is beyond unusual. That’s crafting an investigation to meet a predetermined outcome.

He added the incident was initially investigated at the behest of members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, but the ultimate recommendation from the Inspector General was not to pursue it criminally.

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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