The SEC Wants More Whistleblowers

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By Will Atkinson

$22,437,800. That’s the compensation recently awarded to a whistleblower for alerting the SEC to fraudulent financial practices at agrochemical and agricultural biotech company Monsanto. The whistleblower award was part of the $80 million penalty the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission levied against Monsanto for deceptive accounting practices.Continue reading

She saved healthcare for needy children; will we save her?

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In Oregon, a whistleblower is preparing to go to trial against a powerful opponent, the Oregon Health Authority.  As so often happens, the costs of whistleblowing—reporting waste, fraud and abuse—have fallen disproportionately on the truth teller’s shoulders. Vikki Mata, the whistleblower, lost her job as a public affairs specialist after she reported financial irregularities in a program set up to provide health care coverage for uninsured children.Continue reading

Thirty years after NASA disaster, whistleblower’s identity revealed

[Cross-posted from Whistleblowing Today]

Thirty years ago today, the space shuttle Challenger exploded less than 2 minutes after lift-off, killing all seven astronauts on board. A few months later, two engineers talked about the disaster to National Public Radio on condition of anonymity, They revealed that they and three other engineers employed by NASA contractor Morton-Thiokol had warned that critical seals would fail in the below-freezing temperatures. NASA managers rejected their pleas for a launch delay.

The whistleblowing engineers were not initially identified. The identity of Roger Boisjoly was acknowledged after his death in 2012. Today, NPR revealed the identity of the second whistleblower, Bob Ebeling, with his permission.Continue reading

Sherron Watkins, Dean’s Speaker Series, UNC-Chapel Hill

“Sherron Watkins, former vice president of Enron Corporation, will give a free, public talk as part of the Dean’s Speaker Series at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School on Nov. 10. Her talk will focus on corporate integrity, leadership and business ethics since the Enron scandal.”

NYPD whistleblower settles claim against hospital

A New York City police officer has settled his complaint against a hospital that held him against his will in a psychiatric ward. The officer, Adrian Schoolcraft, claimed bosses ordered him arrested on and hospitalized in retaliation for his whistleblowing disclosure of arrest quotas and manipulation of crime statistics.

Schoolcraft previously settled claims against the New York Police Department for $600.000 plus back pay and benefits from 2009 until the end of this year.  Quoting “a source,” the New York Daily News reported that Schoolcraft’s total settlement with the city exceeds $1 million dollars and that “it’s highly likely he will retire from the force.Continue reading

North Carolinians welcome truth-tellers

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North Carolinians gave truth-tellers a good reception last week in Asheville, Raleigh, Fayetteville, Chapel Hill, Greensboro and Durham. John Kiriakou, the former CIA operative who exposed torture of terrorism suspects at Guantanamo prison, spoke to a standing-room-only crowd at North Carolina State University and also made appearances at N.C. Central University, Guilford College, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Quaker House.  (You can hear his interview at WUNC.)

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