On December 6th, the National Whistleblower Center filed an amicus brief in support of FBI whistleblower Darin Jones. Jones alleged he made whistleblower disclosures about an improper award of a $40 million contract and other improper procurement spending at the FBI. The FBI fired him from his position as a Supervisory Contract Specialist, which Jones alleges was done as an act of retaliation for his whistleblowing. The FBI argued that the current inadequate whistleblower protections at the FBI did not protect Jones because they require whistleblowers to report to the highest-ranking FBI official at their job site, rather than reporting to their immediate supervisor, which is consistent with FBI policy. Because Jones behaved in a manner consistent with standard practices at the FBI of reporting alleged wrongdoing through the managerial chain of command, he was written out of whistleblower protection for supposedly not reporting his allegations to the correct office and the retaliation against him has thus far been tolerated by the Department of Justice.

Continue Reading Amicus Brief Filed on Behalf of FBI Whistleblower with Larger Reform Implications

October 12, 2016. Washington, D.C. Monday, the National Whistleblower Center and FBI whistleblowers Fred Whitehurst, Jane Turner, Mike German and Robert Kobus (Amici) filed an amicus curiae brief in a case before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The brief was filed in Parkinson v. Department of Justice in support of John C. Parkinson, a former FBI special agent and Iraq war veteran. Continue Reading FBI Whistleblowers Ask Federal Circuit to Uphold Whistleblower Protections for FBI Employees

Today the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the FBI Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, a bi-partisan bill designed to protect FBI whistleblowers.  The bill, introduced by Committee Chair Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy, will reform current FBI whistleblower protections by providing compensatory damages for whistleblowers, expanding the scope of protected activity, ending bureaucratic delays in processing cases, and allowing for case review by independent administrative law judges. Now it will advance to the full Senate for a vote. Continue Reading Senate Judiciary Committee Unanimously Approves FBI Whistleblower Reform

The Whistleblower Protection Blog’s most popular posts during the past year covered a wide range of whistleblower topics including court victories improving whistleblower rights, the introduction of new whistleblower legislation,  and the Congressional celebration honoring whistleblowers.

We really appreciate the support from our loyal readers. You have given us another successful year. If you’d like to be the first to know when we post a new blog, you can get notifications by subscribing to our RSS Feed here.  Or you can use the box to the left to receive our posts via email.

Here are the top 10 posts of 2015, in order of popularity:

  1. Big Win For Whistleblowers At Labor Department;
  2. House Passes Bill to Expand Protections for Federal Employees Against Discrimination;
  3. Appeals Court Rules That KBR Can Keep Evidence Of Contract Fraud Secret;
  4. House Investigation Reveals Commerce IG’s Pattern of Retaliation Against Whistleblowers;
  5. Senators Honor Whistleblowers at First Congressional Celebration of National Whistleblower Day;
  6. Court of Appeals Rules NSA Domestic Surveillance Program Illegal;
  7. SEC Sanctions KBR for Illegal Non-Disclosure Agreement;
  8. Tax Court Delivers Victory For Tax Whistleblowers;
  9. IRS Whistleblower Program Releases 2014 Report to Congress;
  10. NWC Releases Press Statement Regarding FBI Crime Lab Errors.

 

Bill will significantly enhance agency’s ability to detect and combat terrorists threats

Washington, D.C. December 11, 2015.  Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced the FBI Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2015, a bipartisan bill to reform and enhance protections for FBI whistleblowers.

The bill will significantly strengthen FBI whistleblower protections including providing compensatory damages for whistleblowers, expanding the scope of protected activity, ending bureaucratic delays in processing FBI whistleblower cases, and allowing for review of case by independent administrative law judges. Continue Reading Bipartisan Bill to Reform FBI Whistleblower Protections

FBI Whistleblower Jane Turner was featured in a September 9th article in the Timberjay Newspapers. Ms. Turner, the co-chair of the National Whistleblower Center’s “Whistleblower Leadership Council,” discusses her journey as a whistleblower in the article.

The courage and sacrifices of whistleblowers like Jane Turner need to be recognized and celebrated. Ms. Turner recently gave a moving speech honoring whistleblowers at the National Whistleblower Day Celebration held July 30th in Washington, D.C. Ms. Turner spoke directly to the whistleblowers in attendance stating, “Today we stand and Continue Reading FBI Whistleblower Featured in Timberjay News

Did you know that you can take two strands of hair from your own head and they may not match? Yet the FBI used forensic hair analyses for decades in the prosecution of criminal cases.  Last night Al Jazeera America’s Fault Lines program featured this issue.  FBI Whistleblower, Dr. Frederic Whitehurst, appeared in “Under the Microscope: The FBI Hair Cases” and discussed the flaws in the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation crime lab’s hair analyses. 

As head of the National Whistleblower Center’s Forensic Justice Project, Dr. Whitehurst compiled data from cases in which the FBI had given flawed testimony on hair analysis and compared that to the information that was released by the FBI and DOJ under FOIA. Dr. Whitehurst first raised these systemic problems at the FBI Lab more than 20 years ago.

In April 2015 the FBI admitted the FBI Lab’s forensic hair analyses used for decades in state and federal criminal cases were flawed and inaccurate more that ninety percent (90%) of the time. The recent reviews reported by the Washington Post in April were the direct result of Dr. Whitehurst’s initial whistleblower disclosures between 1995-1997.  Although Dr. Whitehurst was highly criticized and subjected to severe retaliation by the FBI for raising these concerns more 20 years ago, the admission by the FBI demonstrates that he was right. 

Also appearing on the program was David K. Colapinto, General Counsel of the National Whistleblower Center who has served as Dr. Whitehurst’s attorney for the past 20+ years.

Attorney David K. Colapinto discusses the FBI Crime Lab's flawed hair analyses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click photo to play video preview.

Al-Jazeera will replay this program on Sunday, August 23 at 9pm ET and Monday, August 24 at 1 am and 4:30 am ET.

Click here to read previous blogs on this issue.

Dr. Frederic Whitehurst, the FBI scientist who blew the whistle on misconduct at the FBI crime lab, was recently interviewed by Andrew Cohen of The Marshall Project.  In the interview Dr. Whitehurst discusses the recent admission by the FBI of “errors” by the crime lab in hair analysis cases.

Read the full interview: Bad FBI Science: A forensic whistleblower on the latest scandal.

 

 

The National Whistleblower Center issued the following Press Statement today:

FBI Admission of Crime Lab “Errors” In Hair Cases Vindicates Whistleblower

Washington, D.C. April 20, 2015. Yesterday, the Washington Post published a front-page article reporting that the FBI has finally admitted the FBI Lab’s forensic hair analyses used for decades in state and federal criminal cases were flawed and inaccurate more that ninety percent (90%) of the time.

These systemic problems at the FBI Lab were first raised by FBI whistleblower Dr. Frederic Whitehurst more than 20 years ago.  The latest reviews reported by the Washington Post are also the direct result of Dr. Whitehurst’s initial whistleblower disclosures between 1995-1997.  Although Dr. Whitehurst was highly criticized and subjected to severe retaliation by the FBI for raising these concerns more 20 years ago, yesterday’s admission by the FBI demonstrates that he was right.  Continue Reading NWC Releases Press Statement Regarding FBI Crime Lab Errors