While working as an anti-fraud investigator, Mark Edmunds was looking into a group of 12 men suspected of corruption. However, he claimed that he was soon fired solely because he is a white man who was investigating non-white perpetrators.
After a BBC Panorama investigation sparked national concern over suspected fraud in the Tower Hamlets borough, 55-year-old Mark Edmunds initiated a review of the notoriously corrupt youth services. Soon, the anti-fraud investigator discovered evidence that Britain’s first Muslim mayor, Lutfur Rahman, had utilized youth grants to bribe voters, rigging the election in his favor, Daily Mail reports.
The scandal became a major news story with Edmunds being hailed for his incredible work at the Tower Hamlets Council. As part of his investigation’s findings, 12 senior Bangladeshi employees were also terminated per their involvement in the corruption. However, Edmunds’ trouble was just beginning.
Soon, Edmunds claimed that he was being stalked by three Bangladeshi men in a car driven by an ex-employee who had been fired. He was then demoted by two female managers in what he claims was a bid to get him fired. Later, he claimed that he was fired from his job because he is “a white man” who was investigating non-white suspects accused of massive fraud.
“The threats and intimidation were very real and serious given the history of many of those I was investigating (ie ex-gang members and drug dealers),” his witness statement says. “Additionally, while conducting investigations I was regularly accused of being a racist and a bully, when all I was doing was my job, in an attempt to intimidate me and derail the investigation process.”
However, Edmunds isn’t taking the alleged abuse lying down. The former investigator has turned the tables on his ex-employer, suing the council for nearly $650,000 in a race and sex discrimination case. The case has since proven to be a nightmare for the council, prompting rumors of mass corruption.
In the lawsuit, Edmunds claims that the issue arose when he was targeted in an email sent out by a union official. The letter allegedly stated that it would be discriminatory for Edmunds as a “white male” to get promoted rather than more experienced non-white employees. He also says that the Tower Hamlets removed him from a case without looking into the “false and defamatory allegation” of racism against him based on the fact that he is caucasian.
Edmunds claims that it was after he began contesting the allegations of racism that he became the target of a witch hunt. He says that he was “treated appallingly” by his superiors until his ultimate termination.
The council has refuted Edmunds’ claims of discrimination, insisting that he was only removed from the job because he was no longer needed in the investigation. It also maintains that all alleged threats made against Edmunds were investigated and handled appropriately.
A Tower Hamlets spokesman said, “We strongly dispute the version of events put forward by Mr Edmunds. [He] was made redundant in a transparent process which was part of a service-wide restructure. Every allegation… was fully investigated and appropriate action was taken against members of staff where there was proven wrongdoing. Mr Edmunds was fully involved in that process. The council does not tolerate intimidation of its staff and we took all appropriate steps to ensure Mr Edmunds and his family were safeguarded.”
Still, the lawsuit goes ahead as planned. Edmunds is suing for loss of income as well as damages involving race and sex discrimination. Only time will tell whether the council is guilty of such accusations, although it is rare for a white person to present such a case, much less win in court.