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Ousted USDA employee sues conservative blogger over video

WASHINGTON — A former Agriculture Department employee who was shown in an edited video making what appeared to be racist remarks has sued the conservative blogger who posted the video that led to her dismissal.

Shirley Sherrod said Monday that she is "still reeling" from being ousted in a racial firestorm in July. USDA officials asked Sherrod to resign after blogger Andrew Breitbart posted an edited video of comments she had made in a speech earlier in the year.

The clip showed Sherrod, who is black, telling a local NAACP group that she was initially reluctant to help a white farmer save his farm more than two decades ago, long before she worked for the USDA. Missing from the clip was the rest of the speech, which was meant as a lesson in racial healing. Sherrod told the crowd she realized her mistake and helped the farmer save his farm.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack later asked her to return to her job. She declined the offer.

Sherrod's lawyer released a statement saying she was suing Breitbart in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia for "defamation, false light and infliction of emotional distress."

A statement on Breitbart's website,, said he is "confident of being fully vindicated."

Ousted USDA employee sues conservative blogger over video 02/14/11 [Last modified: Monday, February 14, 2011 10:57pm]
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