With the abrupt retirement of Laura M. Laughlin, the FBI’s top official in Seattle, a veteran FBI agent has been named as acting special agent in charge of the office.
Carlos L. Mojica, who joined the FBI in June 1997 and has served as the senior assistant special agent in charge of the Seattle office, will serve in the job overseeing all FBI operations in Washington state, Ayn Sandalo Dietrich, the FBI’s spokeswoman in Seattle, said today in an email.
Laughlin, who was due to reach the mandatory retirement age of 57 in September, retired on Monday, Presidents Day. She remains embroiled in a sex-discrimination lawsuit she filed in 2011, which alleged she was denied promotions by the FBI and pressured to retire since 2007.
The suit stemmed, in part, from the FBI’s decision in 2006 to remove her office from the investigation into the 2001 fatal shooting of Seattle federal prosecutor Thomas Wales, after Laughlin sought to reduce the size of the task force overseeing the high-profile case. The unsolved case was moved to the Portland FBI office.
Mojica spent eight years in the FBI’s New York field office on a Drug/Gang Criminal Squad, then served two years at FBI headquarters as a supervisory special agent handling international narcotics investigations.
In May 2007, Mojica came to the FBI Seattle field office as the supervisory special resident agent for the Southwest Washington offices in Tacoma, Vancouver and Olympia. In March 2012, the FBI promoted him to his current permanent position as assistant special agent in charge (ASAC).
The FBI has not provided information on the timetable for selecting a permanent replacement for Laughlin.