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KBR Defends Itself Against Jones

Posted by Jane Akre
Friday, December 14, 2007 6:34 PM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family, In The Workplace
Tags: Medical Malpractice, Workplace Injuries, Workplace Discrimination

 

Jamie Leigh Jones Lawsuit alleges personal injury, employment discrimination and harassment from Halliburton employees who allegedly raped her

 

KBR’s president says Jamie Leigh Jones' story of rape at Halliburton’s company quarters in Baghdad is full of “inaccuracies.”

In a memo circulating to employees of KBR and leaked to ABC News,  Bill Utt said his company disputes part of Jones’ version of the story.

22-year-old Jones has alleged several men working as firefighters for Halliburton drugged and raped her in July 2005.  In May of this year she filed a civil suit against the defense company and one man whom she can identify.  Others attackers remain unidentified. 

While Jones has claimed she was held as a prisoner after the rape, in papers filed in March 2006, Halliburton reportedly says one of its human resources employees attended to Jones providing her with food and toiletries and helped her contact her family. 

Jones and KBR agree on one point - that an Army doctor administered a rape kit after the alleged assault and that the kit was handed to Halliburton KBR security. The rape kit is now missing.   

KBR’s motto is “We Deliver” and the company says it acted properly. Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) is a former subsidiary of Halliburton, a global engineering and construction company. The company won a no-bid multi billion dollar contract less than one month before the March 2003 invasion by U.S. forces. 

The State Department has handed the investigation into the incident over to the Department of Justice but ABC News which plans an investigative story on the Jones' case says it could find no evidence of any investigation or charges. 

Earlier this week U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan publicly inquired whether the Attorney General’s office had followed through on Jones’ claims. Sen. Hillary Clinton has called for a probe into the allegations and the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing next Wednesday on Jones’ allegations.

Jones’ lawyer, L. Todd Kelly believes the government is complicit in a cover up telling IB News that the identities of her other assailants have been determined from DNA tests but he has been unable to get their names from the government.

He says he knows of at least nine other women who claim they’ve been assaulted or raped by KBR or Halliburton employees.

Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) told CNN’s Lou Dobbs he doesn’t believe this is an isolated case.

Meanwhile Florida Senator Bill Nelson is asking the Justice Department about the alleged rape of a Florida woman who also worked for KBR in Iraq in 2005. Writing to Defense Secretary Robert Gates Senator Nelson says “I am deeply troubled by recent reports that at least two women who worked in Iraq under contractor for the Department of Defense were sexually assaulted by male coworkers.”

He wants to know how many rape exams have been conducted by military doctors and what has happened to those investigations.

The now 41-year old woman says she was raped in December 2005 in her living quarter by a drunken KBR co-worker. The unidentified woman filed a civil suit against KBR and Halliburton. The outcome of her case is unknown because it was referred to private arbitration, which is overseen by a mediator chosen by the company and is not open to the public.

Concerning Jone’s case Utt wrote, “we will continue to defend the Company in the legal process and remain committee to ensuring the arbitration process is fair.”

But attorney Kelly wants the Jones’ case to be the first one fully open to public scrutiny.    

Public response to this Florida woman’s story is mixed.  A response online following this ABC story seems to be making an excuse for the men involved.   “What do women think is going to happen to them when they put themselves in a situation such as Iraq?  You are putting yourself in harms way, you ARE in a war zone with MEN” the person writes.

Many who follow her response are angry at her “ridiculous statement” and “uneducated statement.”

 

See a KBR Memo below verified by the Houston Chronicle

TO: All KBR Employees
FROM: Bill Utt, Chairman, President and CEO
SUBJECT: Recent media coverage

There continues to be extensive media coverage regarding litigation involving a former KBR subsidiary employee, Ms. Jamie Jones. As transparency is a KBR core value, I want share with you our perspective of the situation.

First and foremost, KBR in no way condones or tolerates any form of sexual harassment. The safety and security of all employees remains KBR's top priority. That commitment is unwavering. Further, each employee is expected to adhere to KBR's Code of Business Conduct guidelines and when violations occur, immediate and appropriate disciplinary action is taken. Any and all allegations related to inappropriate sexual behavior are taken seriously and are investigated immediately. In response to Ms. Jones' allegations, an investigative process was initiated in Ms. Jones' case and was subsequently taken over by government authorities, in accordance with their procedures.

While the allegations raised by Ms. Jones are serious, after a review of the case KBR noted inaccuracies in the accounts of the incident in question, and disputes portions of Ms. Jones' version of the facts. We have expressed our position in detail to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and some of this information is now public.

We will continue to defend the Company in the legal process and remain committed to ensuring the arbitration process is fair.

Thank you for your continued support of KBR.

 


6 Comments

Anonymous User
Posted by musings
Saturday, December 15, 2007 11:50 AM EST

Correct this if it's wrong: This is the first and only rape case against contractors that has been brought in the region?

The "loss" of evidence points not to inadvertency, but to the desire to bury this case. The woman must know she is lucky to be alive.

I shall follow this case carefully. It appears to be solid. I think the problem will be finding defendants in any criminal action. I would look for men sending YouTube information, thus possibly committing prosecuable offenses there. Was there a theft (even of the defendant's underwear) and a sending of it into the US? I think the case could be made that there is nexus with the USA in the crimes and that there was a Rico conspiracy. Look at all the ways in which the law was violated. Where there is a will there is a way.

As for the civil case - how much collusion on the part of the company to engage in the cover-up? Shouldn't this cost them future contracts? Isn't there a good governance idea?

"Boys will be boys" is no defense. Had they been a gang in a New York subway, we know how that defense would be met.

One thing I hope will not happen: the belief that this woman will be so scarred for life that she will be a prisoner in her own home. She is going to win and she is going to prevail. It will leave scars, that is for sure, but she is going to have a normal life. My prayers began the minute I heard the story. It is a familiar one, which I know too well.

Anonymous User
Posted by luv2eatsushi
Monday, December 17, 2007 6:47 PM EST

Don't believe any of her story. I was there.....a lot of us know the truth. And NO I am not a Firefighter.

Anonymous User
Posted by Jane Akre
Tuesday, December 18, 2007 1:03 AM EST

Do you care to elaborate?

Can you imagine why a woman would go to an Army doctor and have a rape exam if nothing happened? Even KBR doesn't dispute that fact.

I'd love to hear more from your POV.

Anonymous User
Posted by Anon
Monday, December 31, 2007 9:11 AM EST

I worked for KBR Security and filed a discrimination case in May of 2006 in reference to myself and other female personnel being discriminated against and treated differently by company personnel that extended to country project management personnel.

The company retaliated and terminated all former co-workers that had contact with me and supported my complaints. This would include a brother and spouse.

My reports specifically targeted project management and the way they handled all incidents that jeapordized female personnel or kept female personnel in lower ranking positions and retaliated against them if they had complaints.

I was told that I was hired to take care of female personnel and that was it.

Contact me if you have any questions or need additional information.

Thank you and have a blessed week.

Anonymous User
Posted by Steve
Monday, December 31, 2007 3:04 PM EST

If these firefighters were all X USAF their either A: Disciplined professionals which means that they are all guilty as sin. I was told to keep my mouth shut about a gang rape on a deployed members wife when I was a firefighter at Nellis AFB. Do not hold all firefighters to this PROFESSIONAL standard as most of us have morals and individual thought and have NO DISCIPLINE but thoes DISCIPLINED firefighters put a black mark on all of the USAF Firefighters.

Anonymous User
Posted by Jane Akre
Tuesday, January 08, 2008 10:19 PM EST

Hello Anon-

Your story sounds very interesting. I'd like to talk further. Could you contact me at
jakre@clarislaw.com and fill me in on what you experienced.

Thanks so much- sorry for the delay, I'm catching up in this new year!!

Comments for this article are closed.

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