King5.com: Dept. of Energy Helps Hanford Contractors Fight Whistleblowers
The Department of Energy (DOE) has given contractors at the Hanford Nuclear Facility more than one million taxpayer dollars to pay for legal fees in the case against Hanford whistleblower Walt Tamosaitis. Tamosaitis, a former engineer at Hanford's Waste Treatment Plant, revealed safety problems that ultimately led to changes in the plant's design, but was reassigned to another post in retaliation. GAP spin-off organization Hanford Challenge brought the evidence of this shocking discovery to the media.
Tamosaitis has been a featured speaker on GAP's American Whistleblower Tour. He spoke about his whistleblowing at Whitman College last fall, and will be appearing at Portland State University on May 22.
Key Quote: Today, the watchdog group Hanford Challenge obtained DOE documents that show contractors were eligible for nearly two million dollars in tax payer dollars to pay for legal fees to fight Tamosaitis’s case.
Hanford Challenge Executive Director Tom Carpenter said using government money to help multi-billion dollar companies fight charges from a respected whistleblower could discourage other employees from pointing out serious safety flaws.
Federal Circuit's Decision Restores Cornerstone of Whistleblower Protection
Last Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in favor of GAP client Robert MacLean, a Federal Air Marshal who was terminated after alerting the public of an ill-conceived Transportation Security Administration (TSA) plan to remove Marshals from airline flights vulnerable to hijackings. The decision restores Whistleblower Protection Act rights for MacLean, and is being hailed as a major victory for federal whistleblowers.
Greener Ideal: Whistleblowers – BP Knowingly Poisoned Oil Cleanup Crew
More coverage of GAP's recent report on the human and environmental health impacts of the dispersant that BP used after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
In another related story, a former contract employee for W&T Offshore claims that offshore oil workers regularly cover-up wrongdoing in the industry, including the doctoring of water samples. The whistleblower stated he's been fired multiple times for reporting violations, and can't get a job offshore as a result.
Associated Press: Court Filing – Ex-Chef Knows of Va. Gov Wrongdoing
A former chef at the Virginia governor's mansion filed court papers yesterday stating he gave evidence to the state attorney general office, the state police and the FBI alleging lavish gift-taking and other wrongdoing involving Gov. Bob McDonnell. The filing came as part of a motion seeking to dismiss embezzlement charges against him.
Related Article: Washington Post
CIA Spends Millions to Appease Afghan Warlords
GAP National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack blogged yesterday about the CIA paying tens of millions of off-the-books dollars to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and other Afghan warlords in order to appease them, sans accountability or apparent effectiveness.
Rolling Stone: Undercover at the Tar Sands
An anonymous worker helping to build the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline provides a detailed first-hand account of work-life near the tar sands in northern Alberta, Canada. The author discusses worker safety issues, as well as the local culture of drug use, drinking and broken marriages.
Inforrm's Blog: Responsibility in Public Office?
Cathy James of Public Concern at Work – the UK's leading NGO focusing on whistleblowing – calls out the wrongful prosecution of whistleblowers who exposed the Cumbria police commissioner's excessive expenses using public dollars.
Sarah Damian is New Media Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.