A technology staffing firm based in Maryland employed at least one avowed white supremacist, in a particularly unusual role —overseeing equal hiring practices.
Sutton Whitfield, a Maryland-based technical recruiting firm, was founded in 2015 and became a partnership between Manjit Singh and Gregory Conte in 2016. According to a since-revised statement by Singh, Conte, as the company’s Equal Employment Opportunity Officer, oversaw fair hiring.
But that wasn’t Conte’s only job. According to an investigation by reporter Brendan O’Connor at Splinter, Conte has also gone by the name Gregory Ritter. Under that name, he created a white supremacist blog and podcast, and helped coordinate security for notorious white supremacist Richard Spencer, including at the Charlottesville rally that turned deadly in August.
On a podcast, Spencer said that “I don’t know what would have happened to me in Charlottesville, or the alt right as a whole, without Greg.”
In a phone conversation with Splinter, Conte confirmed that he had worked at Sutton Whitfield, and admitted that his dual roles could be seen as “somewhat ironic.” Conte said he left the company months ago, for reasons unconnected to his politics. Singh, in an email, said Conte was terminated “due to performance issues.”
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When asked how he could work to uphold equal employment opportunity while also holding white supremacist views, Conte told O’Connor that his beliefs didn’t impact his work, because he “work[ed] within the existing political system.”
While Sutton Whitfield is hardly a household name, it has claimed as many as 10 employees on LinkedIn. O’Connor found that one of those was an unpaid intern who worked from home, and couldn’t reach the other employees.
That may not be where the strange story ends, though. Splinter further found similarities between Sutton Whitfield CEO Manjit Singh and a self-described Sikh ‘ethno-nationalist’ who volunteered for Spencer and was profiled by Vice. A man going by George Singh appeared on Conte’s podcast, including in an episode discussing equal employment issues, and attendees of an alt-right conference told O’Connor that they recognized Manjit Singh as a fellow attendee from his LinkedIn profile picture. But Conte denied to O’Connor that the two Singhs were the same person.
It’s unclear to what extent Sutton Whitfield is still a going concern. When O’Connor visited the address listed in its corporate filings, he found a run-down and empty residential building.
Conte now helps run Altright.com, a project of Spencer’s National Policy Institute.