E-mails show White House input on Sherrod ouster

WASHINGTON (AP) ? Newly released Obama administration e-mails shows the White House, contrary to public statements, was directly involved in the Agriculture Department’s decision to seek the resignation in 2010 of federal employee Shirley Sherrod.

E-mails obtained by The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act don’t contradict Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s assertion that he alone made the decision to oust Sherrod over a speech initially determined to have been racist. But they do show that White House officials were closely involved in the process from the first minutes the scandal began to emerge, offering advice and counsel to Agriculture Department officials.

USDA officials asked Sherrod, who is black, to resign after an edited video of supposedly racist remarks surfaced on a conservative website. It turned out the speech promoted racial reconciliation.