Another investigator sues Friends of Animals
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2004:
ANIMAL PEOPLE on July 14 received a copy of a lawsuit
alleging “gender and sexual orientation discrimination and
retaliation” recently filed against Friends of Animals, FoA
president Priscilla Feral, and FoA Washington D.C. office director
Bill Dollinger by Virginia Leone Bollinger, who was FoA director of
investigations from May 2001 to November 2003.
The lawsuit itemizes 10 claims of alleged abusive behavior by
Dollinger, and charges that FoA president Priscilla Feral failed to
protect Bollinger from his actions.
“FoA, Dollinger, and Feral deny the allegations and believe
the claims are entirely unfounded,” FoA operations director Bob
Orabona told ANIMAL PEOPLE. “The court has already dismissed the
claims against Feral,” which overlapped the case against FoA. “As
the matter is pending litigation,” Orabona added, “we decline to
Bollinger worked for PETA from 1986 to 1993, including five
years as an investigator and one year as chief investigator, before
becoming director of investigations for the Humane Society of the U.S.
In August 1995 Bollinger and former PETA and HSUS legal
investigator Cristobel Block sued then-HSUS vice president for
investigations David Wills for alleged sexual battery. Wills,
widely seen as successor-in-waiting to then-HSUS president John Hoyt,
was fired two months later, was sued by HSUS in a case parallel to
the Bollinger/Block case, and was convicted of embezzling from HSUS.
Wills plea-bargained a sentence of six months in detention. The
civil suits were settled out of court.
Bollinger at FoA occupied the same position and office in
Washington D.C. as Carroll Cox, who reported similar conflicts with
Dollinger. Cox now heads the Hawaii organization EnviroWatch. He
joined FoA after 20 years as a special investigator for the
California Department of Fish & Game and U.S. Fish & Wildlife
Service. With FoA for less then five months, Cox was fired in
August 1997. In September 1999 the Washington D.C. Department of
Human Rights and Local Business Develop-ment found “probable cause”
to believe that FoA violated his rights. FoA chose to try the case
in federal court, where it is pending.