Resolution Of ADL Spy Scamdal Case
Washington, DC. September 27, — “ADL’s admission that it has spied on Arab-American, anti-aparthied and civil rights organizations and individuals vindicates our view that ADL has engaged in illegal activities to undermine the work of such groups and damage the cause and reputation of the Arab-American community” said Hala Maksoud, President of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC).
Today in Los Angeles a final settlement was reached and approved by U.S. federal judge Richard Paez in ADC v. ADL, the lawsuit resulting from the illegal spying by California offices of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith (ADL) against Arab-American, anti-apartheid and civil rights activists. ADL spied on groups as diverse as ADC, Greenpeace, the United Farm Workers Union, Artists Against Apartheid, ACT UP, Action for Animals, the Asian Law Caucus of San Francisco and the American Indian Movement (AIM), as well as hundreds of individuals including elected officials. This class-action case on behalf of over 800 groups and individuals was brought in federal court following disclosures by the San Francisco Police Department that ADL’s spying activities were funded with money funneled through a secret and illegal Los Angeles ADL bank account held in a false name and a prominent Beverly Hills lawyer.
Under the permanent injunction issued by today, ADL is permanently enjoined from engaging in any further illegal spying against Arab-American and other civil rights groups, and must provide an annual statement to ADC’s legal counsel for four years explaining the steps ADL has taken to remain in compliance. A court-appointed Special Master will supervise the removal of the illegally-obtained information from ADL’s files and hold them for six to ten years for use in any other suits, after which they will be destroyed. Information to be removed from ADL’s files includes law enforcement surveillance reports and political intelligence, criminal arrest records, fingerprint cards, mug shots, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, vehicle registration numbers, and Post Office boxes not legally available to the public.
Among the co-plaintiffs joining ADC in the suit are: Mervyn Dymally (fromer congressman), Robert Farrell (former L.A. City Councilor), Prof. Gerald Horne, the National Conference of Black Lawyers, the National Lawyers Guild, the Bay Area Anti-Apartheid Network, the National Association of Arab-Americans, the Association of Arab-American University Graduates, the Coalition Against Police Abuse, the Committee in Solidarity With the People of El Salvador, Global Exchange, the International Jewish Peace Union, AIM and the Palestine Solidarity Committee. Peter Schey, of the Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law, and lead counsel for ADC, said: “The ADL leadership went far overboard when it authorized the organization’s operatives to unlawfully gather confidential law enforcement information on hundreds of civil rights organizations and activists who pose no threat whatsoever to the Jewish community.”
ADC v. ADL, The Settlement Agreement