Wrongfully accused of spying, Sherry Chen fights to get her job back

World Today

Wrongfully accused of spying, Sherry Chen fights to get her job backPhoto from Xinhua

Judged innocent but her life in ruins anyway. For nearly two and-a-half years, a naturalized U.S. citizen, Sherry Chen, has been fighting for her honor, and her job.

Almost overnight, the Chinese-born hydrologist, went from award-winning scientist to accused spy-charges the U.S. government dropped. She lost her job anyway. To get it back, she asked for a U.S. government administrative hearing, which wraps up Wednesday in Cincinnati, Ohio.

CGTN’s Cui Lingnan reports.

“I’m really, really grateful. I think the people her (are) not just for Sherry Chen, they want to have justice done. They want equal treatment, they want justice. I think they come here, I consider it’s for everyone in the United States who want to have equal treatment, no racial profiling,” said Chen, who’s a former U.S. National Weather Service Employee.

Chen is asking the U.S. government to reinstate her, alleging wrongful termination, racial discrimination and retaliation.

In 2014, federal agents investigated Chen as a possible Chinese spy. They found no evidence of espionage, but arrested her on lesser charges that could have led to 25 years in prison and $1 million in fines. The Justice Department dropped all charges one week before trial.

Chen was on paid administrative leave until her former employer decided to fire her. She’s been out of work ever since.

“Our expectations are we think we are going to put on evidence that will help Sherry get her job back,” Stephen Simon, Sherry Chen’s lawyer, said.

Chen is not alone. The U.S. government accused world-renowned physics professor, Xi Xiaoxing, of spying and then dropped the charges, too. Activists said innocent people are being targeted, because they are Chinese.