A federal judge Friday found the FBI guilty of discriminating against its Hispanic agents in promotions and working conditions.

Ruling in a lawsuit brought by most of the agency's Hispanic agents, U.S. District Judge Lucius Bunton said in a summary of his opinion, "This court has found a pattern of practice of discrimination and condition of employment in promotional opportunities as to the plaintiff's class."However, Bunton did not find that the FBI had retaliated against those involved in the lawsuit, according to the summary, attached to his 97-page opinion.

"We're very elated," said Hugo Rodriguez, attorney for the plaintiffs. "We're very happy."

Earlier, the director of a Hispanic group said he planned to ask Congress to investigate the FBI regardless of the outcome of the class action.

The lawsuit was filed by El Paso agent Bernardo "Matt" Perez and 310 other Hispanic agents, who contended the FBI discriminates against them in promotion, discipline and assignments.

The FBI's 437 Hispanic agents comprise about 4.5 percent of the 9,574 agents; Hispanics make up about 8 percent of the general U.S. population.