Sunday, November 24, 2013

Judge rules FBI must train amputee Army Ranger soon

Wisconsin veteran who lost hand must get FBI training soon, judge rules
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
By Bruce Vielmetti
Published: November 23, 2013

MILWAUKEE — The war veteran who won his case to become the first FBI agent with a prosthetic hand must be returned to individual training by April, a federal judge ruled Friday — unless the FBI knows by March that it will have a new class of trainees starting by June.

Oak Creek native Justin Slaby, 30, was dismissed from agent training in 2011 just six weeks into the 21-week program after officials decided he couldn't safely fire his weapon with his artificial hand. He sued, and a federal jury in Virginia found the FBI had discriminated against Slaby and ordered him back to training.

After the verdict, the FBI argued it would be too difficult, and not effective, to train Slaby as a "class of one," but it couldn't control or know when the next training class would begin, due to federal budget cuts. That would have effectively left Slaby in limbo and could have delayed his training indefinitely if the government remained subject to sequester cuts.

U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga ruled that, given Slaby's prior and uncompleted FBI training, his experience as an Army Ranger, and his continued role as non-agent member of FBI hostage rescue teams, the FBI could effectively train him to agent standards outside the usual group setting.
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