Ousted Agricultural Employee Offered New Job

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said he has apologized to ousted employee Shirley Sherrod and offered her a unique new position at the agency.

Sherrod told the Associated Press that she’s considering the offer, which she said was for a different position than her former post as state director of rural development in Georgia.

Vilsack told reporters that Sherrod accepted his apology. He said, “She was extraordinarily gracious.”

The offer comes after an embarrassed White House apologized to Sherrod Wednesday for ousting her over her remarks about race.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the administration did not know all the facts when it acted.

Gibbs said Obama had been briefed as the situation developed.

“He talked about the fact that a disservice had been done, an injustice had happened and, because the facts had changed, a review of the decision based on those facts should be taken,” Gibbs said.

Sherrod was asked by department officials to resign on Monday after conservative bloggers posted a video of her saying she didn’t initially give a white farmer as much help as she could have 24 years ago, when she was working for a farmers’ aid group.

Sherrod says she used the story in her speech to the NAACP to promote racial reconciliation and that the edited video distorted her remarks.

After a video of her full speech was posted online by the NAACP, the White House called the Agriculture Department about the case Tuesday night and it was agreed that her ouster should be reviewed.

Gibbs said people in the administration and outside of it acted without all the facts.

Video of Shirley Sherrod Speech, Courtesy of NAACP


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