News about Whistleblowers Archive


January 2010
  • 1/7/2010, UPDATE 1-SEC review dismisses Putnam whistleblower concerns (Reuters) "An internal review by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission found no evidence that the agency tried to protect mutual fund firm Putnam Investments from a whistleblower's allegations, a rare pass for the battered SEC."
  • 1/6/2010, Birkenfeld to Serve Prison Sentence in Pennsylvania (Update1) (Business Week) “To send the biggest tax whistleblower in the history of the country to jail is really not the signal you want to send to other whistleblowers,” Birkenfeld attorney Dean Zerbe, special counsel to the National Whistleblowers Center, said in a phone interview. “It’s giving a lot of other whistleblowers pause.”
  • 1/6/2010, Whistleblower Web Site Goes Dark, Seeks Funding (Fox News) "A Web site that for years has let anonymous whistleblowers break stories of corruption and government malfeasance has gone dark and is expected to remain offline until it finds funds to support its operations and fend off lawsuits."
  • 1/6/2010, Whistleblower: Ga. Taxpayers Paid For Pricey Groundbreaking Shovels (WSBTV.com) "ATLANTA -- With state revenues collapsing more than a billion dollars in the past year alone, and with more cuts likely to come, a Channel 2 Action News whistleblower encouraged us to investigate why the Georgia National Guard spent more than $4,000 on fancy shovels and hard hats for a groundbreaking ceremony."
  • 1/6/2010, Ex-Morris groundkeeper sues county, says he was forced to quit, (DailyRecord.com) "A former groundskeeper for Morris County's division of buildings and grounds has sued the county, alleging he suffered retaliation and was forced to quit after he griped that co-workers chatted on cell phones and sheriff's officers sped around county grounds."
  • 1/6/2010, Air Marshals Would Have Stopped Bomber, Whistleblower Say (HSToday) "A federal air marshal in the air or on the ground could have stopped the Christmas Day bombing attempt of Northwest Flight 253, said a former marshal, who was released from the Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) over his protest of changes in the agency's security plans."
  • 1/6/2010, Whistle-blower trial lawyer to face charges, Freep.com, "Wilson Copeland II, a private attorney who represented the city of Detroit in the 2007 police whistle-blower trial, is scheduled to face professional misconduct charges this morning for his role in the scandal-stained case."
  • 1/6/2010, UBS whistleblower seeks probe of government lawyers, Reuters, "The National Whistleblowers Center, representing former UBS banker Bradley Birkenfeld as he fights the government over his role in helping a billionaire evade taxes, filed a complaint with the department's Office of Professional Responsibility, seeking an internal investigation and correction of the court's records related to the case."
  • 1/5/2010, Pa. panel upholds Lokuta’s removal, TimesLeader.com, "Lokuta has maintained she was the victim of a conspiracy orchestrated by former judges Michael Conahan and Mark Ciavarella to oust her from office because she reported wrongdoing. She contends many of the witnesses embellished their testimony to please Conahan and Ciavarella because they were beholden to them for their jobs."
  • 1/5/2010, 4th Circuit revives whistleblower suit,   Star Tribune, "A fired medical-device salesman can proceed with a whistleblower claim against his former employer even though he never completed the administrative appeals process, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has held. In a case of first impression for federal appellate courts, the 4th Circuit said David R. Stone is entitled to de novo review ..."
  • 1/5/2010, Wheaton whistleblower medical suit ends, Star Tribune, "
    'Country doctor' and hospital to pay $846,461 to settle charges of unnecessary care, although they deny any wrongdoing."
  • 1/5/2010, Florida disaster-preparedness official quitsSouth Florida, "A top state emergency official resigned Monday in a swirl of accusations from a whistleblower complaint while denying wrongdoing."
  • 1/4/2010, U.S. considering lesser term for UBS whistleblower: report, Reuters, "irkenfeld, who is due to start serving a federal prison term of three years and four months on Friday, has been hailed by whistleblower advocates and U.S. prosecutors alike as pivotal to the case against UBS, his former employer."
  • 1/2/2010, Vehicle Seized to Pay Whistleblower's Back Wages, Lawyers and Settlements.com, "Washington, DC: The Whistleblower Protection Act, which forbids retaliation against employees who come forward with a legitimate concern, has recently come to the aid of a New Jersey whistleblower who was fired by his employer. The former employee will finally be paid back wages via the seizure of his former employer's car."

December 2009
  • 12/22/2009, Good Science, Bad Politic, The Wall Street Journal, "What we can now see is a concerted effort to emphasize scientific results that are useful to a political agenda by blocking papers in the purportedly independent review process and skewing the assessments of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)."
  • 12/21/2009, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland and Trinity Health pay $205,000 to settle Medicare fraud allegations, Crains Detroit Business, "Novi-based Trinity Health, and one of its hospitals, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital in Pontiac, have paid $205,000 to settle a whistleblower lawsuit that alleged that St. Joseph Mercy improperly billed Medicare for medical services, according to U.S. Attorney Terry Berg in Detroit."
  • 12/21/2009, California Courts to Whistleblower: 'You're Out of Order!', POGO, "Paul alleges that private vendors who provide maintenance services at the courthouses were operating without the required licenses and were overcharging for services. When he reported his concerns to superiors, however, he claims he was reassigned to "an irrelevant position with nothing to do" that reports to 'the same guys I blew the whistle on.'"
  • 12/20/2009, INSIDE WASHINGTON: An anti-whistleblower culture, Associated Press, "Gayl, 52, is the target of a Naval Criminal Investigative Service inquiry for allegedly mishandling secret information, according to Tom Devine, his lawyer. Gayl had accused the Marine Corps of "gross mismanagement" for failing to answer the call in 2005 for heavy-duty trucks that could withstand roadside bombs in Iraq."
  • 12/20/2009, Attorney general probing company with connections to Rand, FayObserver, "Two former executives - President Paul Feldman and sales director Martin L. Perry - have filed whistleblower's complaints with federal regulators."
  • 12/19/2009, Silence is the golden rule in city politics, Chicago Sun Times, "On Thursday, the Sun-Times' Fran Spielman reported that a new survey conducted by the city showed city workers aren't too keen on blowing the whistle when they see misconduct."
  • 12/18/2009, Ex-county employee files whistleblower complaints, NewsSun, "SEBRING -- As the Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) initial investigation into alleged improper disposal of asbestos pipe draws to a close, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) begins their look into if the ex-employee with the county who "blew the whistle" was wrongfully terminated for letting his superiors know there were health hazards."
  • 12/17/2009, Laid-off whistleblower files complaint, TampaBayonline, "The Occupational Safety & Health Administration notified Highlands County on Dec. 9 that Rick Solis was alleging discriminatory employment practices in violation of the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act, the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act and the Toxic Substance Control Act, and retaliation in violation of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act and the OSHA Act."
  • 12/15/2009, Sacramento wihistle-blowers to share U. of Phoenix settlement, Sacramento Bee, "The University of Phoenix has paid $78.5 million to settle a whistle-blower lawsuit in Sacramento federal court after two former employees pressed the case – even when the federal government left it to them to go it alone."
  • 12/11/2009, National Zoo gets a new director, WTOP.com,  The Smithsonian . . . is currently under fire for losing millions of dollars in equipment, paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to settle an asbestos whistleblower suit and for "accountability breakdowns."  Read more about it at Federal News Radio.
  • 12/08/2009,  Did MTA workers retaliate against whistleblower?, ABC News, "De los Santos was a key source in the Eyewitness News ongoing reports into idle track workers. A year ago, in a wig, behind shadows, he helped expose millions of dollars in wasted time."
  • 12/07/2009,  MTA whistleblower breaks nose, loses teeth, needs stitches after alleged shove onto tracks, NYDailyNews.com,  "He crashed onto the tracks just hours after Kluger released a report revealing that hundreds of track workers toil just four hours a day, partly because NYC Transit doesn't want to interfere with rush-hour train traffic."
  • 12/06/2009, Whistleblower details exposure, courierpress.com, "'I understand and accept there's danger with my line of service, in my line of service,' Gentry said in the December 2008 deposition. 'What's very difficult for me to accept is if I'm working for KBR and they have knowledge of hazardous chemicals on the ground that can cause cancer and (they don't) share that knowledge, then that is putting my men at risk that is unnecessary.'"
  • 12/05/2009, Nez Perce County hit with whistleblower lawsuit, Associated Press, "LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) - A former Nez Perce County Sheriff's sergeant who says he was fired when his identity became known after disclosing what he thought was confidential information concerning the agency has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the county."
  • 12/03/2009, FBI, DOJ refuse to investigate charges of judicial corruption, The Examiner,  "According to court documents filed in Chicago, the FBI and DOJ turned a blind eye to retaliation against citizens who attempted to expose the corruption, including 'kidnapping of children, false incarceration after being ‘framed’ by criminal elements in civil and criminal authorities, impoverishment, coercion under duress, and serious physical injury up to and including death.'”
  • 12/03/2009, Whistleblower challenges US court ruling, Financial Times, "The challenge has erupted just as Mr Birkenfeld, a 44-year-old American who spent five years with UBS, presses a separate legal claim for a big “reward” from the authorities under rules introduced by the Internal Revenue Service to encourage whistleblowers."
  • 12/03/2009, Inadequate laws expose whistleblowers and impede fight against corruption, Transparency International, "TI and its chapters in the 10 countries analysed, call for a two-pronged approach to protect and thus benefit from whistleblowing:"
  • 12/03/2009, Whistleblower law: Amend measure to better achieve its purposeWatertown Daily News, "Companies targeted by complaints have argued that they are exempt because their employees worked for a corporate subsidiary. This strategy has proved successful."
  • 12/03/2009, Whistleblower suit raises questions in Hillsborough employee's firingTampaBay.com.  "He says he was fired as an executive planner after 14 years with the county for revealing potential problems in affordable housing."
  • 12/01/2009, Shielding the Whistleblower, Wall Street Journal, "Congress Set to Act as Many Employee Suits Get Dismissed on Technicality."

November 2009
  • 11/30/2009, Supreme Court hears case on whistle-blower lawsuits, USAToday, "WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court heard arguments Monday testing when whistle-blowers who discover fraud in federal programs may sue in the name of the United States and collect some of the settlement."
  • 11/30/2009,  A Whistle-Blower Says His Concerns About Safety Were Met With Scorn, New York Times, "'Everybody has a right to work in a safe environment,' Mr. Greenberg said. For his efforts, Mr. Greenberg says, union co-workers and construction supervisors threatened and abused him, ridiculed his size, his skin condition and his chatty way with government regulators."
  • 11/27/2009, Tough Whistleblower Law Goes to Go into Effect This Week, NBCNewYork, Workers who report they've been underpaid or mistreated are getting stronger protection
  • 11/27/2009, Whistleblower awarded $210,00, South Florida Times, "FORT LAUDERDALE — A federal jury has awarded $210,000 to a Broward County School District carpenter who suffered retaliation for complaining about racial discrimination and other issues."
  • 11/25/2009, Hess, borough close to deal, Indiana Gazette, "Hess's lawsuit argues, among other things, that he was fired for calling outside police attention to the borough's dealings with the Blairsville Improvement Group, a nonprofit organization that promotes the area."
  • 11/25/2009, FAA to improve landing operations at Newark airport 2 years after whistle blower detailed safety risks, The Star Ledger, "The Federal Aviation Administration next month will improve landing patterns at a dangerous runway intersection at Newark Liberty International Airport, nearly two years after a whistle blower detailed safety hazards that led to several near-crashes."
  • 11/25/2009, Whistleblower Talks To I-Team About Councilman's Campaign, 10news.com, "...Chula Vista City Councilman Steve Castaneda still won't talk to the 10News I-Team about accusations that he cheated to get elected, a whistleblower who has called out Castaneda is talking to the I-Team."
  • 11/24/2009, Fort Myers whistleblower gets support money, Fort Meyers News-Press, "...his message: that Office Depot defrauded the Lee County School District and numerous government agencies nationwide out of hundreds of millions of dollars through a complex overpricing scheme."
  • 11/23/2009, Whistleblowers deserve our praise, thanks, TheStar.com, "Portrait of a whistleblower; and Law society weighs if mayor went too far."
  • 11/22/2009, Whistleblower recounts origins of 'Green Wall' at Salinas Valley State Prison, The Herald, "Eleven years after the Thanksgiving Day Riot, D.J. Vodicka, the former guard who blew the whistle on the gang of rogue officers, has published a book about the experience that left him in hiding."
  • 11/21/2009, GAP Highlights Role of Whistleblowers, Food Safety News, ""You have to give decent rights to people so they can tell the truth and get away with it," said Devine, noting that food workers often face the threat of losing their jobs, being deported, or harassment from management for speaking out against food safety or animal treatment violations."
  • 11/20/2009, Bush-Era climate policy fiasco revisited, The Register Citizen, "Simply put, by accepting government employment, federal employees shouldn’t be forced to give up their First Amendment freedoms, their safeguards under whistleblower protection laws, their freedom to communicate with Congress, or their rights under anti-gag legislation that protect them from government officials who abuse their authority."
  • 11/20/2009, Don't shoot the messenger, Wall Street Journal, "That essentially sets him up for failure by sabotage or non-cooperation."
  • 11/20/2009, Whistleblower under attack, The Star, Ottawa - "Defence Minister Peter MacKay questions the credibility of Richard Colvin, right, on Nov. 19, 2009 after the diplomat's testimony suggested widespread Canadian knowledge and cover-up of Afghan prisoner abuse." Editor's note: Although news is about Canada, the story involves the United States.
  • 11/19/2009, HealthSouth whistleblower lectures UAB students on Company Fraud, University of Alabama Media Relations, ""I've lost everything financially. I've lost a career and my CPA license, but do I have regrets about coming forward and blowing the whistle?"
  • 11/19/2009,  Whistleblower: SEC still missing criminal activity, San Antonio Express"regulators still don't understand the business enough to stop future scandals, a New York whistle-blower for a 2003 mutual fund skimming scandal ... Congress could boost enforcement of current laws, Harrington said, if it aimed hearings at regulatory matters instead of finding someone to blame for scandals."
  • 11/18/2009, Elizabeth medical center to pay $3M to settle Medicare fraud lawsuit, The Star Ledger, "ELIZABETH -- Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth has agreed with the federal government to pay $3 million to settle a lawsuit accusing the hospital of defrauding Medicare, authorities said today. . . The agreement stems from a 2005 suit filed by a whistle blower alleging Trinitas illegally inflated charges to qualify for additional reimbursements reserved for Medicare patients whose treatment is exceptionally expensive."
  • 11/18/2009, United Health's Directive, It puts employees in a tough spot, Minneapolis Star Tribune, "A look at the legal landscape reflects the fragility of their position. . .  This means that they have no appreciable rights of any kind, and management may treat them any way it wants, without much legal recourse."
  • 11/18/2009, Workers at power plant file grievance,Whistle-blower retaliation alleged, The San Deigo Union Tribune, "Two San Onofre nuclear power plant employees have filed federal whistle-blower complaints, saying plant managers retaliated against them after they reported safety violations."
  • 11/17/2009, Whistleblower trial: Jury Rules in Favor of the University of Michigan, AnnArbor.com, "A Washtenaw County jury decided in favor of the University of Michigan today, rejecting a former graduate student's claims that the university halted his assistantship unfairly last year after he reported alleged safety violations."
  • 11/17/2009, Scantibodies CEO wins 'whistleblower of the year award, Nephrology News and Issues, "On Oct. 13th Tom Cantor, CEO of Scantibodies Laboratory Inc., received the “Whistleblower of the Year” award from the Taxpayers Against Fraud organization in Washington, D.C."
  • 11/14/2009, Judicial Standards panel: Ban BelkCharlotte Observer, "But last month, Belk announced that the judicial commission had informed him of its plan to seek his removal. He has suggested he was targeted because of his efforts to reform the state's justice system."
  • 11/14/2009, EDITORIAL: U.S. Senate should OK media shield law to help protect whistleblowers, The Beaumont Enterprise McClatchy-Tribune, "The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on the Free Flow bill, S 448, next Thursday. Most senators approve it, but the bill faces stalling techniques on the Senate floor from Sens. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and Jon Kyl, R-Ariz."
  • 11/14/2009, Law firm for UMDNJ removed from trial, The New Jersey Star-Ledger, "More than two years ago, Ellen Casey — a former high-level purchasing official for the state’s medical university claimed she was fired after raising questions about millions in lucrative contracts that were never publicly bid."
  • 11/14/2009, School district fires Head Start director, The Galveston County Daily News, HITCHCOCK, "[Doreatha] Walker has filed a whistle-blower lawsuit against the district, claiming the officials want to get rid of her because she lodged complaints with the state . . . Walker clashed with district administrators throughout the past year. She reported in November 2008 that mold in the building, 5700 FM 2004, was making her sick."
  • 11/13/2009 Whistleblower case heard again, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Ohton, an SDSU employee since 1986, claims he suffered illegal retaliation, including losing his job as strength coach of the football team, after he cooperated with a CSU audit that in 2003 found mismanagement in the athletic department."
  • 11/12/2009, Former Shepardsville wastewater chief appeals demotion, Louisville Kentucky Courier-Journal, "Shepherdsville’s former wastewater system superintendent is fighting his demotion, saying it was without cause and violated the state Whistleblower Act, according to legal filings."
  • 11/11/2009, Anchorage Woman "Fired" For Reporting Sick Building, KTVA, "'I can't speak efficiently because of the illness,' said Coppe, who alleges the cause of that illness lies behind the walls of the Alaska Surgery Center, at 4001 Laurel Street."
  • 11/09/2009 Dodging the Graft, Financial Times, "[N]egotiators meeting in Doha to discuss the six-year-old United Nations Convention against Corruption must make sure the momentum gained by the anti-corruption fight over the past two decades does not become a casualty of the crisis."
  • 11/07/2009 Whistleblower Files Lawsuit Against Natrona County, CASPER, Wyo. (AP) ― "A whistleblower whose statements led to the indictment of Natrona County's former chief deputy coroner on drug charges . . . contends her termination in April 2008 was in retaliation for her reporting theft of medication and her complaints of sexual harassment."
  • 11/06/2009 Contempt notice to transparency lawyer, The Telegraph, Calcutta, India, "The Supreme Court today issued a contempt notice to activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan for remarks accusing a judge of ignoring a potential conflict of interests and awarding mining leases to a company in which he held shares."
  • 11/04/2009 Decisive meeting on corruption: 141 governments meet in Doha starting 9 November, Berlin. "Transparency International is one of more than 300 civil society groups collectively demanding effective monitoring of UNCAC at the conference in Doha, for which concrete recommendations have been submitted." The referenced recommendation, "draws the attention of the Commission to the harassment of trade unionists who have blown the whistle on corruption."
  • 11/03/2009 Groups cry foul over UBS Whistleblower term

October 2009