FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 10, 2023
Heroic ICE Whistleblower Featured in New Podcast, But Her Story Isn’t Over
WASHINGTON – Today, nurse and whistleblower Dawn Wooten tells her story on the new podcast “The Whistleblowers: Inside the Trump Administration.” Narrated by podcast host Miles Taylor, former chief of staff of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and author of Blowback: A Warning to Save Democracy From the Next Trump, this riveting podcast tells the story of Ms. Wooten’s public disclosures of medical practices and public health failures at an ICE detention center, as well as her experience of retaliation, recent lawsuits, and what comes next for this brave truth-teller. By highlighting the individual stories of brave whistleblowers, this podcast demonstrates how vulnerable truth-tellers often become simply by choosing to do the right thing.
Ms. Dawn Wooten was a nurse at the Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC) run by LaSalle Corrections where she witnessed critical failures by leadership at the ICE facility to protect immigrants and workers from COVID-19, as well as invasive gynecological procedures, often rendering women sterile, without informed consent. After raising concerns internally and then to the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (OIG), her explosive revelations lead to ICE severing the contract at ICDC, ending immigration detention at that facility less than a year after her public whistleblowing.
“The Whistleblowers” podcast illustrates not only the vital role whistleblowers play in exposing abuses of power, but also how vulnerable employees become when choosing to speak out, suffering professional and personal consequences. It also highlights how their cases are rarely resolved by the end of an administration. Despite validation of the crux of her disclosures by oversight investigations, including in 2022 by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Ms. Wooten is still entrenched in court battles. The gynecologist at the center of the medical complaints has filed a lawsuit against NBC Universal Media for defamation, involving Ms. Wooten’s testimony published by NBC. In addition, Ms. Wooten still has not received her justice regarding the unlawful retaliation she experienced after attempting to report her concerns. As a nurse and single mother who effectively became blacklisted from the healthcare industry amidst a global pandemic, Ms. Wooten is fighting to receive the restitution she deserves for standing up for the truth.
Government Accountability Project’s Senior Counsel and attorney for Ms. Wooten, Dana Gold, commented:
“Whistleblowers like Dawn Wooten who speak up about problems they see on the inside provide vital oversight that is dangerously lacking in the opaque immigration detention system. Unfortunately, as The Whistleblowers podcast highlights, many whistleblowers are vilified for their brave truth-telling even as their disclosures prompt necessary accountability. Government Accountability Project is proud to represent heroic people of conscience like Dawn and is thankful Miles Taylor has chosen to use his platform to garner support for whistleblowers who choose to do the right thing.”
Hear Ms. Wooten’s story in her own words by listening to “The Whistleblowers: Inside the Trump Administration” now.
Contact: Andrew Harman, Government Accountability Project Communications Director
Email: [email protected]
Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, Government Accountability Project’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, Government Accountability Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.