Brave whistleblowers still face overwhelming odds

“Alamo Evening” by Steven Kennedy, Flickr CC

In a recent article, “Democrats on Capitol Hill ask White House not to gag federal employees“, the Washington Post quotes from a Congressional letter to President Trump.

“As the new Administration seeks to better understand what problems exist in this area, this is an appropriate time to remind employees about the value of protected disclosures to Congress and inspectors general in accordance with whistleblower protection law,” their letter added.

I have worked with whistleblowers for 40 years and would like to share my thoughts with the President and Congress about the problems they face.

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President Obama reduces Chelsea Manning’s prison sentence

We Support Whistleblowers / Free Bradley Manning / Twin Cities Pride Parade

The White House announced Tuesday that President Obama has commuted whistleblower Chelsea Manning’s 35-year prison sentence, allowing her to be released from Fort Leavenworth on May 17, 2017.  Manning’s sentence, wrote the New York Times, was “the longest ever handed down in a case involving a leak of United States government information for the purpose of having the information reported to the public.”Continue reading

Intelligence officials leak surprise decision in whistleblower case

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[Cross=posted at Whistleblowing Today]

The Project on Government Oversight reports that a three-person panel authorized by Obama’s Presidential Policy Directive 19 concluded last May that the National Security Agency’s inspector general retaliated against a whistleblower. Based on that information, Director Michael Rogers sent IG George Ellard a termination notice. The IG, who is on administrative leave while he appeals the decision, said in 2014, “Snowden could have come to me. We have surprising success in resolving the complaints that are brought to us.”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

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