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White House apologizes to ousted USDA worker

Jul 21, 2010 3:05:00 PM - thestate.com
An embarrassed White House apologized on Wednesday to a black Agriculture Department employee who was ousted for her remarks about race, acknowledging that officials did not know all the facts when she was fired.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs called the dismissal of Shirley Sherrod an injustice and a mistake. He said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was trying to reach her to extend the administration's apology.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration faced a blast of criticism on Wednesday over its ouster of a black Agriculture Department employee for her remarks about race. The woman says she's not sure she would go back to her job now, even if asked.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that he would reconsider the department's decision to ask Shirley Sherrod to resign. Sherrod, the director of rural development in Georgia, was asked by department officials to leave her job on Monday after conservative bloggers posted an edited video of her saying that she initially didn't give a white farmer as much help as she could have 24 years ago, when she was working for a nonprofit farm aid group.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)