SOURCE: American Small Business League

American Small Business League

May 13, 2014 13:35 ET

Small Business Administration Refuses to Release Press Office Phone Records, According to the American Small Business League

PETALUMA, CA--(Marketwired - May 13, 2014) -  According to the American Small Business League, Small Business Administration (SBA) Press Office Director Terry Sutherland is refusing to release the phone records of SBA Press Office Deputy Director Carol Wilkerson.

On April 11 of this year the American Small Business League (ASBL) requested under the Freedom of Information Act all of Carol Wilkerson's outbound phone records dating from March 1 through April 1, 2014. The purpose of the request was to test the SBA Press Office's response for Freedom of Information Act requests for phone records. Carol Wilkerson is listed as Deputy Director/Team Leader of the SBA Office of Communications and Public Liaison.

In his May 8, 2014 response to the ASBL, Terry Sutherland claimed no phone records exist for Wilkerson and stated, "The records show no long distance calls during that time period. Only outgoing long distance calls are recorded and maintained in a file, local calls are not."

The ASBL requested Wilkerson's phone records to investigate possible illegal, unsanctioned or prohibited activities by the SBA Press Office.

In 2010, the SBA refused to release the phone records of then SBA Press Office Director Mike Stamler. The SBA fought the release of Stamler's phone records in U.S. District Court in San Francisco and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The ASBL appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. The SBA was preparing to fight to keep Stamler's phone records hidden when the Supreme Court declined to hear the case and Stamler's phone records remained secret.

The ASBL believes the extreme lengths the SBA has pursued to keep their Press Office phone records secret are a clear indication that they are engaging in unlawful activities and may be working closely with the Pentagon to kill stories on billions of dollars in federal small business contract awards to some of the nation's largest defense contractors.

The ASBL believes the appointment of Terry Sutherland, former Director of Corporate Communications at the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, to head the SBA Press Office signals the strong affiliation between the SBA and the Pentagon

A series of federal investigations and media reports have all found hundreds of billions of dollars in federal small business contracts that have been diverted from small businesses to Fortune 500 firms.

The ASBL plans to appeal the SBA's refusal to release Wilkerson's phone records and will continue its Freedom of Information Act campaign in the courts to uncover phone records and emails from the SBA Press Office.