State-Police-Car-Law-EnforcementOn October 3, 2018, the National Whistleblower Center (“NWC”)  filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Brandon Eller, an Idaho State Police (“ISP”) detective who blew the whistle on the cover-up of another deputy’s dangerous actions. While Eller received a jury reward for his actions, he has been denied funds for the emotional damages that he suffered as a direct result of ISP’s retaliatory actions.

When it became known that Eller had blown the whistle on a fellow deputy, he was subjected to severe retaliation including, attacks on his character and retaliation on the job which disrupted his family life and caused illness. The retaliation he suffered affected his career and his livelihood.

In its “friend-of-the-court” brief, the NWC argued that the Idaho Protection of Public Employees Act “must be interpreted broadly to fully compensate plaintiffs and thereby enhance responsible whistleblowing activity directed toward ensuring integrity in the operation of the public-sector workplace.”

“Whistleblowers who bravely step forward with crucial information on fraud, corruption, and other bad behavior unfortunately regularly have to contend with retaliation,” said whistleblower attorney Stephen M. Kohn, executive director of the NWC and a founding partner at Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto.

“Retaliation causes an enormous emotional toll on the whistleblower and they should not be limited to recovering only economic damages. Awarding whistleblowers damages for emotional distress has been shown to encourage others to come forward with crucial information about fraud and misconduct,” explained Kohn.

Read the NWC’s brief here.

  • Angela Sanchez

    Being a police officer is being the example for society. When one who is sworn to serve and protect takes the wrong path, it is the place of fellow police officers to take necessary steps to try to make sure their work environment is safe as well as making sure the public is safe. To be a police officer, you have to be brave and be willing to stand up for justice and what is right. By this police officer speaking out, he did what he know was right for his fellow officer as well as for the community. That is the entire point of the job he was hired to do. I can’t believe that that being a team player and a whistleblower are very different. As a police officer there is a code to serve and protect all. If another deputy is displaying dangerous behavior and putting himself or others in danger, then something should be said to prevent the deputies actions from growing into a bigger more dangerous situation in the future. Being a police officer can be a stressful job and the dangerous actions of the deputy could be a sign of that stress. Branden Eller made a tough choice to speak out against a fellow deputy and he is paying the price for that unfortunately. It is a shame that the department sees this as a betrayal instead of applauding him for doing what is right.