News About Whistleblowers

Freedom of speech is the right to tell people what they don't want to hear

                                                                                                                                                    --George Orwell 

Resources About Whistleblowers

News About Whistleblowers

* Published articles and commentary pertaining to Toxic Justice.
Please click on archives link below for articles older than two months.
Note: Federal and state Whistleblower laws should provide protection against retaliatory acts  and legal remedy for  those who report corrupt practices or practices that harm others.  

Read the news items below and you will quickly determine that current whistleblower protection laws are tools designed to provide incentives for people to expose unethical and criminal conduct but in reality provide no effective deterrent and little to no protection for whistleblowers.

March 2010
  • 3/26/2010 Chicago judge to decide if his own accuser goes to jail (Washington Examiner)  "How’s this for an eyeball-popping conflict of interest?   Chicago Circuit Court Judge Alexander White - the same judge accused of being on the take in a civil trial four years ago - is expected to rule today on whether his accuser has to serve the remaining 34 days of his sentence on criminal contempt of court charges in Cook County Jail. . . raising new questions about retaliation and witness tampering. (See ToxicJustice blog )
  • 3/5/2010  I-Team: Why are Whistleblowers Being Punished? (LasVegas.com) " Nevada's medical community received conflicting signals regarding whistleblowers. The State Board of Medical Examiners sent a message Friday that doctors who testify against other doctors will not be punished. But physicians at UMC recently decided to expel two whistleblowers while at the same time, embracing the target of a criminal investigation.       '
  • 3/2/2010 Madoff whistle-blower offers his account (Boston.com) "Harry Markopolos, a quantitative financial analyst, first blew the whistle on Bernard Madoff’s multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme in 2000, and over the ensuing eight years preceding Madoff’s arrest, sent detailed accusations to various Securities and Exchange Commission offices. Each report met with a thundering silence."
  • 3/2/2010  Kilpatrick lawyer McCargo broke ethics rules (DetroitNews.com) "Detroit -- The Michigan Attorney Discipline Board on Monday ruled that an attorney who represented former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick at a police whistle-blower trial committed five violations of professional rules of conduct in connection with the text message scandal."
  • 3/1/2010  Station Casinos Denies Whistleblower’s Charges (Wall Street Journal) "Station Casinos Inc. is fighting back over charges from a whistleblower that it steered high rollers away from jointly owned Las Vegas resort to its own tables, claiming the “disgruntled” former manager tried to blackmail the company before going public."
  • 3/1/2010  Christiana Care to pay $3.3 million to end whistleblower's lawsuit (Delaware.online) "Prosecutors charge that Christiana Health Care, the largest health care provider in the state, was in essence paying kickbacks to a group of Wilmington neurologists who regularly referred their patients to the hospital system."
February 2010
  • 2/28/2010 Madoff whistleblower says SEC still too timid (Reuters) "BOSTON (Reuters) - Financial regulators have not fully learned their lessons despite missing the massive fraud engineered by Bernard Madoff, said the man who tried for years to raise the alarm about Madoff's scheme."
  • 2/28/2010 Whistleblower says he was prepared to murder Bernard Madoff (BostonHerald.com) “If (Madoff) contacted me and threatened me, I was going to go down to New York and take him out,” Whitman resident Harry Markopolos writes in “No One Would Listen,” due in bookstores Tuesday. “At that point, it would have come down to him or me, (and) I felt I had no other options: I was going to kill him.”
  • 2/26/2010 House panel calls Toyota whistleblower documents 'troubling' (The Detroit News) "House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Ed Towns, D-N.Y., said documents obtained under subpoena from former Toyota lawyer Dimitrios Biller "indicate Toyota deliberately withheld records that it was legally required to produce in response to discovery orders in litigation."
  • 2/24/2010 NYPD whistleblower Palestro reports alleged corruption at 42nd Precinct - and he was union delegate (NYDailynews.com) "Officer Frank Palestro was a union delegate at the 42nd Precinct until last week, when he was outed as the tipster who secretly reported allegations of corruption by a lieutenant to Internal Affairs"
  • 2/24/2010 Whistleblowers sue Medtronic over stent use (Star Tribune.com) "A whistleblower lawsuit unsealed in federal court last week alleges Medtronic Inc. illegally marketed a relatively obscure medical device called a biliary stent in ways not approved by federal regulators."
  • 2/24/2010 US IRS Pays First Big Whistle-Blower Award (Wall Street Journal) "The office paid $5.5 million to a whistle-blower who reported tax fraud at several companies, according to the law firm that represented the informant."
  • 2/19/2010 Poison Pills in Senate Whistleblower Bill May Become Law  (National Whistelblowers Center)  "We have now learned that S. 372 is being "hotlined," a process by which legislation can be passed through unanimous consent, without any debate or a roll-call vote.
    A whistleblower protection enhancement bill should improve protections for whistleblowers, not destroy protections that have been in place for years. The impact of these provisions on national security whistleblowers will be devastating."
  • 2/17/2010  Whistleblower law might help landfill fighters (Ottawa Citizen) "A Cantley couple that convinced the Quebec government to close a landfill that is emitting toxic gases in their community expect to become the first people in Canada to use a new law designed to protect whistleblowers."
  • 2/16/2010 New Orleans levee whistleblower sues LSU over firing (Institute for Southern Studies) "The former deputy director of the Louisiana State University Hurricane Center is suing the university and four former supervisors, claiming he was harassed and eventually fired from his job because he blamed the devastating post-Katrina flooding of New Orleans on shoddy work by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers."
  • 2/16/2010 Fraud Whistleblower Sued By Ex-Boss (KCRA.com) ""There needs to be some protection later on in the case -- they become a victim of a retaliatory lawsuit, that they're safe from that," Zine said.While Zine said she believes the lawsuit is frivolous, she's spent $4,000 fighting it and said the state and federal governments offered her no help."
  • 2/13/2010 Local Water Agencies File Suit Over Allegedly Defective PVC Pipes (East County Magazine) "February 13, 2010 (San Diego) – East County water districts have joined with the City of San Diego, other jurisdictions around the country, and a whistleblower who alleges that faulty PVC pipes are more apt to break or leak prematurely. Helix Water District, Ramona Municipal Water District, Padre Dam Municipal Water District, and Sweetwater Authority are the local entities seeking damages."
  • 2/13/2010 Fired Cop’s Case Hits Top Court (Times Record Online) "Barrows claims Police Chief Kevin Lindsey fired him for expressing concerns about a project of Lindsey’s with then-City Administrator Randy Reed."
  • 2/13/2010 U.S. vs. Swiss Tax Cheats: A Whistleblower Ignored (Time) "According to Birkenfeld's attorneys, the Department of Justice "willfully/negligently failed to conduct an investigation that would have permitted the U.S. government to obtain the identities of U.S. clients who maintained illegal offshore accounts with UBS."
  • 2/12/2010  Whistleblower sues Hyde Park Country Club (Business Courier) "Plaintiff Ted Marinakis says he began working at the Erie Avenue golf and social club in 1985, when he was 16, and was named food and beverage manager in 2003. He was fired in June 2009, according to a complaint he filed in Hamilton County Common"
  • 2/11/2010 Senate votes to expand whistleblower protections (OregonLive.com) "
     Senate Bill 996
    would prohibit retaliation by supervisors against workers who provide information to elected officials overseeing counties, cities or metropolitan service districts."
  • 2/11/2010 Bursting Pipes Lead to a Legal Battle (New York Times) "State and local governments across the country may have to replace their water systems because of defective pipes, according to a whistle-blower lawsuit unsealed this week."
  • 2/10/2010 Army Corps critic alleges LSU silenced him (WDAM7) "NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Ivor van Heerden, a Louisiana State University scientist and a widely cited expert on levee failures after Hurricane Katrina, sued his college on Wednesday, alleging he was the victim of a campaign by his colleagues and superiors to silence his criticism of the Army Corps of Engineers."
  • 2/10/2010 A Whistleblower's Gripping Story (NJ.com) "'The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers' was nominated last week for an Oscar for Best Documentary, and rightly so."
  • 2/10/2010 Pilsen bank depositors seek cash from whistleblower (Chicago Tribune) "Adam Resnick, whose gambling problem led to a multi-million-dollar scheme that sank a Pilsen bank, was recently hailed for helping uncover fraud at a pharmacy company."
  • 2/10/2010 Nurse Whistle-Blower Charged for Reporting Doctor (ABCNews) "They say they're afraid that if she is found guilty, there will be no watchdogs for unsound or unsafe medicine."
  • 2/9/2010 House backs bill to raise mine fees (Courier-Journal.com) "Mills, earlier this month, filed a “whistleblower” lawsuit, contending he was fired for complaining that his superiors broke the law by approving certain permits."
  • 2/9/2010  House passes Whistleblower Protection Act (The New Mexico Independent) "The legislation would allow government employees to sue their employers if they’re retaliated against for reporting government corruption, testifying before a public body or refusing to participate in unlawful activity."
  • 2/8/2010  Government Whistleblower Expansion Moves to Senate Floor (www.Salem-news.com)"Employees should be able to report fraud or waste without fear of retribution,” said Schrader. “Senate Bill 996 will increase transparency across all levels of government because workers will have more options to air concerns they may have.”
  • 2/8/2010 Former Toyota lawyer alleges culture of concealment (Reuters) "CHICAGO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp's (7203.T) massive safety recall comes as no surprise to Dimitrios Biller, a former company attorney fighting a lawsuit against the world's No. 1 automaker alleging Toyota has concealed evidence from courts and the U.S. government."
  • 2/7/2010 SEC enforcement chief wants to catch investment scammers in the act (Los Angeles Times) "Robert Khuzami launches a new program to encourage whistle-blowers involved in financial scams and presses for laws to provide big rewards for securities tattletales"
  • 2/6/2010 Nurse to Stand Trial for Reporting Doctor(New York Times) "ERMIT, Tex. — It occurred to Anne Mitchell as she was writing the letter that she might lose her job, which is why she chose not to sign it. But it was beyond her conception that she would be indicted and threatened with 10 years in prison for doing what she knew a nurse must: inform state regulators that a doctor at her rural hospital was practicing bad medicine."
  • 2/6/20101 Fired school district official wins legal battle but doesn't get apology (SunSentinel) "Her saga began more than a decade ago when, as a senior supervisor of building inspectors, she began complaining that new schools were opened despite "life safety" code violations. That contractors were allowed to walk away without fixing problems. And that leaky school roofs were being repaired improperly, leading to mold and mildew."
  • 2/5/2010 Former charter school administrator files whistleblower suit (Philly.com) "Adorable Harper, a 1999 graduate, charges that officials at the Kensington charter retaliated against her for filing a complaint with federal investigators detailing "a pattern of criminal misuse of local, state and federal funds."
  • 2/5/2010 Jury trial set for whistleblower lawsuit (Local News 8.com) "Ray filed the lawsuit in federal court in November contending she was wrongfully fired in April as an investigator in the coroner's office and her civil rights violated after she made statements that led to the indictment of former Chief Deputy Coroner Gary Hazen on drug charges."
  • 2/4/2010  Defense Dept. probes Marine mental health care (Washington Post) "WILMINGTON, N.C. -- The Defense Department will investigate complaints of substandard mental health care for Marines at Camp Lejeune, according to a North Carolina congressman Thursday who had asked for the probe amid reports of retaliation against a whistleblower."
  • 2/2/2010 Christ Hospital settles whistleblower suit in kickback scheme (Cincinnati.com) "Christ Hospital has settled a federal whistleblower lawsuit accusing its acclaimed cardiac-care center of running an illegal kickback scheme."

January 2010
  • 1/30/2010 ESD reform rises to Legislature's agenda (StatesmanJournal) "WESD has been under fire since June, when its then-business manager filed a whistleblower claim alleging she had been told to cover up financial mismanagement."
  • 1/30/2010 Portland officer files whistleblower complaint (GazetteTimes.com) "A Portland police officer transferred to work at a property evidence warehouse has filed a whistleblower complaint against the Portland Police Bureau claiming he is being punished for speaking out."
  • 1/28/2010 Long Island Congressional Candidate Cited for Giving Up JPMorgan Whistleblower (PoliticDaily) "OSHA issued a preliminary finding in favor of the whistleblower, saying there was "reasonable cause to believe" that he had faced retaliation, and that his "preliminary reinstatement" was warranted."
  • 1/28/2010  Whistleblower wins case against Lockheed Martin (DigitalJournal) "The former director of communications for Lockheed Martin in Colorado Springs has won a judgment that should get her job back with lost pay and benefits"
  • 1/28/2010 Cleveland school board gives protection to whistleblowers (Cleveland.com) "CLEVELAND Ohio -- The Cleveland school board is trying to regain the public confidence it lost in a highly publicized purchasing scandal. The board on Tuesday adopted a whistleblower policy that forbid."
  • 1/27/2010 Imprisoned UBS Whistle-Blower Brad Birkenfeld Is Mad As Hell (Business Insider) "Writing from Schuylkill County Federal Correctional Institution in Minersville, Pennsylvania, Birkenfeld again railed against the Department of Justice for sending him to prison despite making what he and his lawyer call "the most important tax whistle-blower in history."
  • 1/27/2010 Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission sued by ex-manager, alleging Whistleblower Law violation (PennLive.com) "Bailets believes he was let go in November 2008 because he raised issues with Ciber, a Denver-based firm that received more than $82.2 million worth of work from the agency, according to the suit."
  • 1/27/2010 Whistleblower who exposed allegations of corruption in Fort Pierce City Hall says she's being harrassed at work (TCPalm) "FORT PIERCE — Assistant Finance Director Melissa Moore, who for the first time is publicly disclosing she was the “whistleblower” in exposing allegations of corruption in the Community Services Department, said she’s being harrassed at work for her actions."
  • 1/27/2010 Police whistleblower Serpico, 38 years later: no regrets (Providence Journal) "This is the man whose long and loud complaining about widespread corruption in the New York Police Department made him a pariah on the force."
  • 1/26/2010 Ex-Lockheed Martin worker wins whistle-blower case (Denver Post) "A former Lockheed Martin employee was retaliated against after she complained her boss was having affairs with U.S. Army soldiers in the company's Pen Pal program and billing the government for the liaisons, a federal administrative law judge has ruled."
  • 1/25/2010 Missouri National Guard whistleblower fired after inquiry (stlToday.com) "JEFFERSON CITY A two-time whistle-blower who complained about racial discrimination in the Missouri National Guard has been fired after an investigation concluded he was guilty of professional misconduct."
  • 1/25/2010 Missouri laws still fail state government whistleblowers (News-Leader.com) "For example, state workers have only 90 days to file a civil lawsuit for violations of this statute (RSMo. 105.055). Once an employee is fired or demoted for reporting lawbreaking, the clock begins to run. The troubling part is the number of people who muster up the courage to take action or seek legal counsel, only to find their time has expired."
  • 1/23/2010  Nelnet goes after agency's evidence in whistleblower suit(JournalStar.com) "Nelnet is the lead defendant in the lawsuit, in which Oberg alleges the Lincoln student loan company and other student lenders defrauded the government of about $1 billion by improperly using a government subsidy."
  • 1/22/2010 NMI plans to webcast whistleblower Frank Foy’s testimony (The new Mexico Independent) "Frank Foy, the former investment officer for the Educational Retirement Board, will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee at the Capitol sometime this afternoon. The Independent will be on hand to webcast what he says."
  • 1/22/2010  US Labor Department secures back wages for fired whistleblower in Corpus Christi (Wolters Kluwer) "A former employee of Corpus Christi-based Orion Drilling Co., fired after complaining to management about being exposed to mold in the workplace, has been paid $10,000 in back wages as a result of a settlement secured by the U.S. Department of Labor."
  • 1/22/2010  The S.E.C.’s Whistle-Blower Problem (New York Times) "Standards for reporting judicial misconduct and whistleblower protections should also be established for probation officers, who work for the courts and, in Luzerne County, were often complicit in pressuring juveniles to waive their right to an attorney.'Children in Luzerne County were treated as commodities, with a for-profit provider as purchaser, and the juvenile court as supplier,' Schwartz said"
  • 1/21/2010 Whistleblower: Gov. blocking my efforts (WRQE) "A Senate committee is looking into allegations that state agencies are stonewalling a whistleblower lawsuit that seeks to recover money from failed public investments."
  • 1/21/2010, Governor Chastised for More Corrections Issues (WGIL News) Hynes said. "Furthermore, I am calling on the governor to issue immediately an executive order to extend whistleblower protections to those who first reveal wrongdoing or incompetence to the press."
  • 1/21/2010,  Who'd dare blow the whistle now? (Winnipeg Sun) "It’s about ensuring her complaint is dealt with fairly and in a timely manner while protecting her from unnecessary litigation. . . Given the way the whistleblower has been treated to this point, it’s likely it will be a long time before someone ever makes that mistake again."
  • 1/21/2010,  At SEC, the system can be deaf to whistleblowing (Washington Post) "The SEC has no system in place to guide how officials should handle tips and complaints from outsiders, making it difficult for investigators to take advantage of an invaluable source of information"
  • 1/20/2010, Hynes: 'Gag order' shows need for whistleblower changes (Pantagraph.com) "llinois' Whistleblower Act is designed to protect public employees who reveal wrongdoing to law enforcement. However, protections do not extend to anyone who chooses to communicate to the press as the initial outlet."
  • 1/20/2010, Montgomery officials seek broader whistleblower protections (Washington Post) "In a bid to shake loose information about potential waste or fraud, Montgomery County officials proposed broadening whistleblower protections Tuesday for the thousands of employees who work for county contractors."
  • 1/19/2010, FBI broke law for years in phone record searches (Washington Post) "E-mails obtained by The Washington Post detail how counterterrorism officials inside FBI headquarters did not follow their own procedures that were put in place to protect civil liberties."
  • 1/18/2010, Swiss Banker Blows Whistle on Tax Evasion(New York Times) "Mr. Elmer, who ran the Caribbean operations of the Swiss bank Julius Baer for eight years until he was dismissed in 2002, moved to Mauritius in the Indian Ocean and began parceling out to global tax authorities what he said were the secrets of his former employer."
  • 1/18/2010, Corruptions In Financial Institutions Goes Unpunished  (istockanalyst.com) "After all, the whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld helped US to recover $780 million dollars from UBS. For that, he got 40 months of prison time. Now, let's see who else is going to mess around with the "big guys".
  • 1/17/2010, Election challengers turn up the heat on Dallas County constables (Freep) "James D. "Dan" Edwards was a longtime deputy before Constable Roma Skinner fired him. He was reinstated by a state district judge and now works as a deputy constable in another precinct. . . Edwards made a number of allegations against Skinner in whistleblower complaints."
  • 1/16/2010, Candidate wages whistleblower lawsuit against UTB, (The Brownsville Herald) "Rene Coronado, a candidate for the Texas Southmost College Board of Trustees, has filed a lawsuit under the Texas Whistleblower’s Act against The University of Texas at Brownsville, alleging that he was fired in retaliation for reporting irregularities in employees’ timesheets."
  • 1/15/2010, Trial continues in oil spill whistleblower case (The Madison) "Plaintiff Steven Howland is suing American River Transportation Company and its parent, Archer-Daniel-Midland, for allegedly firing him after he reported the company's intentional oil dumping into the Mississippi River in 2007."
  • 1/13/2010, DuPage County approves ethics rules (Naperville Sun) "The ordinance includes whistleblower protection for county employees, a $25 gift ban, full disclosure of all campaign contributions made by vendors and a limit on campaign contributions received by County Board members from those doing business with the county."
  • 1/12/2010, Trends: Whistle Blowing is Going out of Style as much in the USA as it is in Europe (OpEdNews) "He gets forty months, more than probably every single tax cheat, the 19,000 of them that he turned in, will get collectively. Olenicoff, the billionaire, who for twenty years was hiding millions and millions of dollars willfully, got probation"
  • 1/12/2010, Whistleblower law strengthened in Sullivan County (Mid-Hudson News Network) “There are a lot of protections afforded in the statute as it stands, but this is nice just to send a message to your employees that they can come forward and they don’t have to worry about any sense of retaliation,” he said.
  • 1/9/2010, A whistleblower's fraud lawsuit in Wheaton, Minn., was settled for $1 million (Star Tribune.com) "About 20 years ago, three country doctors worked side by side at the tiny community hospital in Wheaton, Minn.Since then, one has gone to prison for sexually abusing patients. Another was run out of town. The third was accused of defrauding Medicare."
  • 1/8/2010, Hydro trying to force whistleblower to release reports (Winnipeg Free Press) "WINNIPEG — Manitoba Hydro has asked the courts to force a whistleblower to turn over her reports to another consulting firm hired to check her work."
  • 1/8/2010, CORRECTED - UPDATE 2-UBS whistleblower Birkenfeld begins prison term (Reuters) "To take the whistleblower who was responsible for the single largest recovery for American taxpayers ... and put him in jail is a travesty of justice, a miscarriage of justice," Kohn said. "It's grotesque."
  • 1/8/2010, Feds reopen case of Alaska whistleblower who died days after Forest Service job was eliminated (Los Angeles Times) "ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Federal prosecutors who look into the treatment of whistleblowers are reopening the case of an Alaska wildlife biologist who successfully sued the U.S. Forest Service and died of a heart attack days after his job was eliminated."
  • 1/8/2010, Local doctor is whistleblower in Medicare fraud case (The Echo Press) "An Alexandria physician triggered a federal investigation of suspected Medicare fraud at a Wheaton hospital that resulted in a settlement of $846,461 with the U.S. government."