Coast Guard whistleblower

Two whistleblowers are scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill this morning. Both hearings begin at 10 a.m.and will be broadcast live.

Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Kimberly Young-McLear will testify about retaliation she faced after complaining about bullying and harassment at the Coast Guard Academy.  In 2018, the Department of Homeland Security inspector general confirmed her complaints. From the New London Day. (The academy is based in the Connecticut city.)

Young-McLear says she endured four years of abuse at the academy, including her supervisor making belittling comments toward her, using her as a scapegoat and undermining her work. She said she exhausted the complaint process, making reports to her Coast Guard chain of command, including senior leadership at the academy and the commandant, and through the Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security’s civil rights reporting processes.

“They all failed me. The reporting systems that we have in place failed, and I was retaliated against,” said Young-McLear, who left the academy this summer for a cybersecurity fellowship under the Department of Homeland Security.

Coast Guard officials say they have addressed Young-McLear’s concerns but problems at the Coast Guard persist.


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NOTE: Tune into the Federal News Network for a discussion on the importance of whistleblower protection taped on Friday August 23. Host Debra Roth sits down with Tom Devine, Legal Director of the Government Accountability Project; John Kostyack, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center; and Liz Hempowicz, Director of Public Policy at the Project on Government Oversight.”


Congressional investigators say they’ve been trying to get some answers about problems at the Coast Guard Academy for more than a year.

Finally, staff of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the Committee on Homeland Security met with the Coast Guard Academy Dean Kurt Colella last week. He brought along the assistant academy superintendent, the Coast Guard’s House liaison, the agency’s chief of congressional affairs and the director of personnel readiness, according to committee members.

Apparently, none of them had much to say. Here’s how the meeting was described in a letter from lawmakers to the Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Karl L. Schultz.

“Coast Guard officials indicated that pursuant to your orders, all of the Coast Guard personnel who were present at the meeting were directed to refuse to answer any questions regarding any past events at the Academy involving either faculty or cadets,  including any questions pertaining to the OIG’s report,” wrote Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) chair of the oversight committee and Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) of the homeland security committee.    
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