Summary: Countrywide/Bank of America whistleblower and GAP client Eileen Foster was awarded the Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling yesterday at the National Press Club. In her acceptance speech, she called on the Department of Justice to prosecute those financial executives responsible for the widespread subprime mortgage scandal – if not for fraud, then for covering it up.
Lt. Col. Daniel Davis was the co-winner of the Truth-Telling prize. He has been blowing the whistle on the failure of the top military leaders to reveal the true conditions of the Afghanistan war.
Summary: More coverage on public health concerns regarding HIMP, a USDA plan to reduce the number of government employees inspecting poultry plants and increasing the speed that birds move through the plants. GAP has extended its petition calling on USDA to reject HIMP since the agency has extended the comment period of the proposal due to mounting concerns. Sign the petition here.
Key Quote: “There are a lot of gross things that happen with poultry… But this is a food safety issue, not just an ick factor issue,” said Amanda Hitt, the director of the food integrity program at the Government Accountability Project.
Her organization is an advocacy group for government whistleblowers. It’s come forward with what it says are affidavits from USDA inspectors convinced a switch to a streamlined processing line won’t just jeopardize their jobs, but could bring more bacteria into your kitchen.
Summary: Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) is requesting the SEC detail its whistleblower policies, in light of the recent revelations the agency inadvertently revealed an anonymous whistleblower’s identity during an investigation.
Summary: The Missouri House has passed legislation that would scale back the protections for employees who seek to blow the whistle on wrongdoing. In similar news, a whistleblower protection bill for state employee whistleblowers in California was rejected.
Summary: Wal-Mart is not the only company facing bribery investigations. A number of US companies have potentially violated anti-corruption laws, including Hewlett-Packard, Qualcomm, Deere & Co., Avon, and News Corp, among others. Many of these cases are brought by whistleblowers within the companies.
Key Quote: “Whistleblowers are more relentless than they used to be," says James Mintz, who heads an investigative services firm that tracks FCPA cases. "These days it has become more common for companies to report. We haven't seen a good old fashion cover up like what appears to have happened at Wal-Mart in a while."
Summary: In this piece, FAIR – GAP’s counterpart in Canada – is critical of the Canadian agency in charge of investigating wrongdoing, saying they are “an ineffective watchdog, in full pursuit of inconsequential cases.”
Summary: A former Tennessee police officer has filed a whistleblower suit against the city of Gallatin, alleging that he was fired after reporting the police chief’s misuse of the criminal history database to authorities.
Hannah Johnson is Communications Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.