Summary: As part of the uniformed service, members of the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHS) are not covered under normal federal government employee whistleblower protections. As they are also not members of the armed forces, they are not covered under any military protections either. Essentially these PHS employees – “an elite team . . . on the frontlines in the Nation’s fight against disease and poor health conditions" – have no protections at all.
Key Quote: They work for civilian departments but wear military uniforms. Everyone lauds their fine work, but if they become whistleblowers, nobody wants them. They reside in a whistleblower black hole, which can make whistleblowing in the PHS a dangerous mission indeed.
Summary: A mining whistleblower will appear in civil court today after he was allegedly fired for reporting a variety of unsafe working conditions, including worn seals (meant to help prevent explosions and floods) and poor ventilation. The Mine Safety and Health Administration previously agreed that he had been fired illegally, and the whistleblower successfully filed for ‘temporary reinstatement’ while his case is being decided.
Related Article: WFPL
Summary: GAP National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack takes Bill Arkin, well-known reporter for Top Secret America, to task for mispreporting details about the case of NSA whistleblower/GAP client Thomas Drake, the first (of now six) Espionage Act prosecutions brought by the Obama administration against whistleblowers.
Summary: A former Morgan Stanley employee claims he was forced out after accusing the firm of taking hidden fees from its retirement-account customers. Last summer, a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority panel ruled in favor of Morgan Stanley and the whistleblower is on the hook to pay $1.2 million. He has plans to appeal, but Finra has mysteriously ‘lost’ eight hours of original testimony.
Summary: Russian officials are continuing with their plan to prosecute an English businessman and a whistleblower who revealed a £147 million fraud, despite the fact that the businessman was banned from Russia in 2005 and the whistleblower is dead. The whistleblower was arrested in 2008 and died the following year from his poor treatment in prison.
Summary: The mayor of Denver has asked the city council to pull proposed whistleblower reform legislation, saying the some of the language could allow people to use ethics complaints to play political games.
Summary: This New York Times editorial raises concerns about the way President Obama has claimed “the legal authority to order an American citizen killed without judicial involvement, real oversight or public accountability.” GAP National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack has blogged on this subject several times.
Summary: Two separate studies published this week illustrate the high financial cost of managing water pollution resulting from agriculture operations. One report estimates a cost of $2 billion for pesticide contamination of groundwater in the United States. GAP's Food Integrity Campaign has more.
Hannah Johnson is Communications Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.