Don't Count On It

José Garcia says his boss at Census 2000 asked him to falsify documents. Then he got the pink slip.

In some cases officials in the regional office micromanaged, he adds. In others they provided little oversight. "Atlanta is completely lost," Garcia asserts. For example the Atlanta office was supposed to provide a complete list of the places Garcia's team was to visit in a timely fashion. Yet the list did not arrive until February 21, five days before he was fired. Regional administrators never even clarified the Miami Beach office's boundaries.

"To say that we were behind is to say Alaska is cold in the wintertime," he cracks.

Shortly after his firing, Garcia protested to the regional manager in Atlanta and was told nothing could be done. He says he also has contacted the Commerce Department's Office of the Inspector General. On March 5 he sent a letter detailing his case to Florida Sen. Connie Mack, stating: "It is quite clear that the reason I was terminated was because I would not take part in [a] plan to commit fraud. I am not going to be quiet about this."

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