Summary: A top executive from Moody’s, a credit-rating agency that has been criticized as a contributor to the financial crisis in 2008, has sent a critical 80-page letter to federal regulators saying that “the firm systematically squelched its analysts’ private doubts to keep deals and profits flowing.”
Summary: Yesterday, 60 Minutes re-aired its interview with National Security Agency employees and whistleblowers Thomas Drake, Bill Binney and Kirk Wiebe, all of whom are GAP clients. After the Department of Justice case against Drake fell apart, he pled to a misdemeanor and was sentenced only to one year probation and community service.
Drake’s interview, as a prominent whistleblower, draws comparisons with another 60 Minutes interview with a major whistleblower – Jeffrey Wigand, the “Big Tobacco” executive who blew the whistle that cigarette companies were “consciously trying to get us hooked on nicotine,” and that they “knew all along that their tobacco products contained additives that increased the danger of developing diseases.” Wigand's story was turned into the film The Insider.
Summary: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration continues to pursue a case against a whistleblower – from the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities – who has been critical of agency management.
Summary: Last Thursday, GAP and the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) issued a memo to the Office of Special Counsel on the functionality of its website. GAP and POGO found many issues with the functionality, including out-of-date information, difficult navigation, an absence of document organization and transparency, and a lack of social media presence.
Summary: A former Walgreens pharmacist who claims he was fired for reporting Medicare fraud in several California stores has been awarded $1.2 million by a federal court.
Summary: A secretary for the athletic department of Tulsa Public Schools has blown the whistle on what she feels are improper actions taken by the department. The whistleblower’s claims include allegations of forged signatures, doctored invoices, and dubious overtime payments.
Asia One: FIFA May Protect Whistleblowers
Summary: FIFA, the world governing body of soccer, is looking to implement whistleblower protections.
There has been much controversy recently over supposed match-fixing and alleged bribery within the soccer world. The whistleblower protections, if approved, would be implemented next year. GAP recently blogged about the lack of whistleblower protections in sports.
Summary: Sherman White was a college basketball player – and favorite for the NBA draft of 1952 – who was arrested as part of a major game-fixing scandal, exposed by another player. The player-whistleblower’s reports led to the revelation that seven colleges around the country were involved, and arrests of 32 former and active college players. White served nine months in jail, went on to play in the semi-pro leagues, and eventually coach inner city kids.
Hannah Johnson is the Communications Fellow for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.