WASHINGTON, May 24 (Xinhua) -- A group of U.S. lawmakers sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) on Wednesday calling for an apology for the wrongful treatment of Chinese American hydrologist Sherry Chen.
"We call for a full and independent investigation of Ms. Chen's case to examine the actions taken against her and to determine if corrective actions need to be taken across the Department," the letter said.
The letter demanded the DOC to specifically look into whether there was any fraudulent actions, abuse of authority and misconduct by the department.
"No federal employee - or any American - should be viewed by our government as more suspicious because of their race or ethnicity," the letter said.
The outcry came as the DOC is signalling to appeal a case that ruled Chen was "the victim of gross injustice." In a statement to Xinhua, a DOC spokesman confirmed that it will appeal the case, but stopped short of giving further information.
Chen, who worked at the National Weather Service in Ohio, was accused of spying and was arrested in October 2014. Prosecutors dropped all charges against her days before trial, but the DOC has refused to reemploy her.
In late April, the Merit System Protection Board ruled that the department should reinstate Chen with full salary and benefits, granting a rare victory for appellant.
Chen's lawyer Steve Simon told Xinhua the DOC purposefully buried evidence and testimony exonerating Chen, saying the department has made the wrong decision every step of the way.
The DOC has little chance to win an appeal, but would only inflict more pain on Chen and her family, Simon said.