Retired agent wins $173,000 award in ATF lawsuit

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PHOENIX (AP) -- A retired federal agent was awarded $173,000 after a judge found the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had breached a 2007 legal settlement with him.

The settlement in question had resolved Agent Jay Dobyns' complaint that the agency didn't properly investigate threats made against him after he conducted an undercover investigation of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.

Judge Francis Allegra of the United States Court of Federal Claims said in a ruling publicly released Tuesday that the agency's conduct in dealing with Dobyns constituted a breach of good faith.

The judge rejected ATF's claim that Dobyns violated his employment contract by publishing a book on the Hells Angels investigation.

The $173,000 award is in addition to the $373,000 that Dobyns received as part of the 2007 settlement.