Hearing Highlights: Representatives Unite Behind Whistleblowers
Representatives at Tuesday’s House subcommittee hearing on whistleblower retaliation in the federal government expressed support for additional legislation to address unresolved issues from the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA). GAP Legal Director Tom Devine, who testified at the hearing, warned that since passage of the WPEA, managers are increasingly using a new method of retribution: criminal investigations and prosecutions. Congressmen described the treatment of GAP client and TSA whistleblower Robert MacLean as a “disgrace” after he explained how he was investigated and consequently blacklisted for alerting Congress to public safety breakdowns. More highlights (with video) of the hearing can be found on GAP’s blog.
Key Quote (Watchdog.org): “There is a new trend,” said Tom Devine, legal director for the Government Accountability Project. “(Washington) is making it a crime to blow the whistle. You have the choice of resigning or facing charges. That’s chilling.”
Key Quote (Federal News Radio): “The government is being transformed from the rule of law to a national security spoils system,” Devine said.
This is the second piece of financial whistleblower Michael Winston’s three-part blog series chronicling his experience. Yesterday’s blog detailed the numerous violations he witnessed at Countrywide Financial Corporation. Today’s account shows why he initially prevailed in a court of law.
Key Quote: In early 2011, 12 jurors listened and watched for nearly one month, hearing about and seeing proof of more than 80 adverse employment actions taken against me by Countrywide over a two-year period, starting immediately after my alert to Cal-OSHA about dangerous conditions of a “sick building and ratcheting up again when I refused to lie on CFC’s behalf to Moody’s Investor Service.”
GAP Executive Director Bea Edwards published a new piece in her Huffington Post column about the questionable activities of former NSA Director Keith Alexander. She details how, before he left the agency, Alexander warned the banking industry that it was vulnerable to cyber-attacks, only to retire shortly after and offer the very service he claimed was needed to protect against them for a monthly fee of $600,000.