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

On March 4, 2015  the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the lack of whistleblower protections for FBI employees.

A focus of the hearing was a February 2015 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which found that whistleblower protections at the FBI are weaker than at any other agency. The GAO Report found that the Department of Justice’s FBI whistleblower process leaves some FBI whistleblowers without protection from retaliation, which creates a chilling effect. The GAO report also found that some FBI Whistleblower cases can take up to or over 10 years to complete. The report detailed the case of former SSA Jane Turner.

Ms. Turner’s case and how it highlights the problems with the FBI Whistleblower Program was featured in a March 3, Washington Post article:

Report says procedures put a chilling effect on potential FBI whistleblowers

Previous Blog Post:  Senate Hearing Examines Broken FBI Whistleblower Program

Jane Turner
Jane Turner

In an article on the legal news website, Lawyers and Settlements, FBI whistleblower Jane Turner discuses her whistleblowing experiences.  In the article “FBI Whistleblower Regrets Nothing,”  Turner says “It destroyed me to lose the job that meant so much to me.” However, “I thought if I don’t speak up, who will?” she stated.

Read the full article here.

Dr. Frederic Whitehurst took on the FBI because he knew that defendants had been wrongly convicted on the basis of seriously flawed testimony by the FBI crime lab. On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that the D.C. Superior Court overturned the conviction of a man who wrongly served 28 years in prison for killing a taxi driver. It is amazing to see the positive result of Dr. Whitehurst’s hard work. One person really can make a difference.

Sadly, Mr. Tribble was not the only victim of the misconduct by the FBI crime lab. After Dr. Whitehurst’s original whistleblower disclosures, the Justice Department formed a Task Force to review thousands of cases impacted by his allegations and to determine if any individuals were wrongly convicted. Although the Justice Department and FBI pledged to correct their mistakes, documents obtained by the NWC through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) show they failed.

Last month, the Washington Post published a series of articles about the failures in the Task Force’s “investigation,” including that they never issued a final report and did not inform defendants about the misconduct in their cases. Once again, this only came to light because Dr. Whitehurst followed through on his personal vow to find out who was harmed. He was the one who lead the NWC Forensic Justice Project’s FOIA fight to release the documents about the Task Force.

Continue Reading One Case Overturned. How Many More to Come?

Executive Director Stephen M. Kohn and Senator Chuck GrassleyThis week The Washington Times published a lament of Attorney General Eric Holder’s treatment of FBI whistleblowers based on a public complaint from Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). The article is aptly titled, “Grassley: Whistleblower Cases Stuck ‘in limbo’ Under Holder."

In his letter, Senator Grassley declared that, “perpetual delays for resolving FBI whistleblower cases at the Department of Justice,” led him to the conclusion that, “The process of resolving whistleblower cases appears to be broken.” The Department of Justice refused to comment for the Washington Times article.

To support this point, Senator Grassley used the specific examples of FBI whistleblowers Jane Turner and Robert Kobus. Jane Turner has seen her case stalled for nine years now, while Robert Kobus’ case has been help up for about four.

Jane Turner, a highly decorated 30-year FBI veteran, was fired after reporting that FBI agents had taken “souvenirs” from Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks. Five years after she filed her 2002 claim, a civil jury held that she had been illegally retaliated against and was due compensatory funds. Senator Grassley’s complaint stems from the fact that the FBI’s appeal is still bouncing around the Department of Justice to this day. “Any reasonable person would agree that 9 years is extreme and unacceptable,” he concluded.

Robert Kobus blew the whistle on timecard fraud in the FBI’s field office in New York, and in 2007 the Office of Inspector General found that the FBI had illegally retaliated against him for his report. Much like Jane Turner, Kobus has jumped through all of the hoops required for a speedy decision, but Senator Grassley pointed out that, “Mr. Kobus’ case has now languished in bureaucratic red tape for approximately 4 years.”

Attorney General Holder once testified that he would, “ensure that people are given the opportunity to blow the whistle and they will not be retaliated against, and then to hold accountable anybody who would attempt to do that.” Senator Grassley has long been a steady supporter of whistleblowers, and advocates this same view. However, in his letter, the Senator contrasts his true commitment with the Attorney General’s lip service: “Whistleblowers are key to unlocking many of the secrets hidden deep in the closets of the federal government. Allowing a case to sit in limbo for more than nine years shows a lack of commitment to resolving issues for these courageous people.”

The delays that Senator Grassley and The Washington Times have discussed are indeed a major systemic problem. These unnecessary hassles are the icing on the case for brave employees who risk their careers for the public interest.

*Intern Regan Moore contributed to this posting

There has been much debate about whether Coach Mike McQueary is a whistleblower. While the NWC takes no position on the outcome of the investigation, there are two facts that are important to note.

First, McQueary’s initial report as a graduate assistant to his supervisor, Joe Paterno, was a protected disclosure under Pennsylvania law. The Pennsylvania whistleblower law protects employees who “report” wrongdoing “verbally” to their “superior” or to an “agent of the employer.” McQueary also went beyond just reporting it to his supervisor. He reported what he saw to two high-ranking university officials, including a senior Vice President who had supervisory authority over the campus police.

Second, McQueary’s testimony concerning Gerald Sandusky to the grand jury is protected whistleblower speech. The public interest is served when employees provide truthful testimony about their employer’s misconduct.

In my 28 years of experience representing whistleblowers, I have seen employees sit in court and shield their employers, often conveniently forgetting key facts. This appears to have happened in this case. The grand jury found portions of testimony by two key university officials, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, not credible after they sugar coated and downplayed the abuse that was reported to them by McQueary. According to the grand jury report, Schultz was “very unsure” about what McQueary told him, and he testified that McQueary’s allegations were, “not that serious,” and that there was, “no indication that a crime had occurred.” This type of obfuscation and loss of memory is typical of managers covering up wrongdoing.

Continue Reading Grand Jury Report Sheds Light on McQueary’s Whistleblower Status

NWC’s Jane Turner was interviewed today on MSNBC about the Penn State child abuse scandal and whether Coach Mike McQueary is a whistleblower. Tune in to Honesty Without Fear tomorrow to hear Jane and Steve Kohn discuss this question in more detail, or listen to the archived show after it airs.

You can find out more about Jane Turner and her background at the FBI investigating child abuse here.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Today, FBI whistleblower Jane Turner issued a statement on the Penn State child sex abuse scandal. Jane Turner, a 25-year veteran Agent, blew the whistle on the FBI’s failure to provide protection for child sex crime victims on the North Dakota Indian Reservations. Ms. Turner reported the allegations to the highest level of the FBI, including Director Mueller. Her allegations included the FBI’s: failure to act on leads concerning a international long haul truck driver pedophile, cover-up of a rape of a 2-year old child by declaring her injuries to be a result of a car accident, and failure to follow-up on the direct evidence that a television personality was sexually molesting children on the Indian Reservation.

In retaliation for exposing FBI failures within its child crime program, Ms. Turner was removed from her position. She was forced to wage a 10-year legal battle to establish her right to blow the whistle. Ms. Turner eventually won her case in front of a federal jury in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Jane Turner issued the following statement:

Unfortunately, I witnessed first-hand the institutional inaction that often happens when someone reports child abuse. It takes enormous strength to put one’s moral integrity over your personal inclination to protect fellow colleagues who have committed malfeasance, or criminal activity. The FBI, like Penn State and the Catholic Church, are entities that allows their personnel to report allegations up a chain of command but those in positions of power or change, fail to take immediate or strong actions. It simply boils down to the fact that those in power have a stronger desire to preserve the reputation of their institution, then taking the road of truth or justice. Entities like Penn State, the Catholic Church and the FBI all share something in common; they operate in an insular world where rules or laws that apply to everyone else, do not apply to them.

To read the rest of today’s press release please click here.

By Guest Blogger: Jane Turner
Member of NWC’s Board of Directors and Director of NWC’s FBI Oversight Program

I am a FBI whistleblower. In my childhood, I did not dream of growing up to be a whistleblower, I dreamt of growing up to be an FBI Agent. I not only accomplished my dream, but I was a true believer. A true believer of the FBI family, a true believer of having Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity. I worked hard, and broke many barriers, being the first woman on the Seattle Division SWAT team; being the first woman Senior Resident Agent, and first woman working full time in Indian Country. I was given high rating scores and was one of the first woman Field Profilers. I worked on several high profile FBI cases and also taught on a national level on interviewing and interrogating sexual offenders and their victims. I never lost a case in federal court, and I loved my job.

After twenty-one years in the FBI, I notified my immediate superiors that there was misconduct and malfeasance by FBI agents. I did this because I thought it would make the FBI a better agency, and because I believed in Fidelity, Integrity and Bravery. One incident was the brutal rape of a 5-year old Indian child that a FBI agent had covered up as a car accident. Another incident involved FBI agents who were recording individuals as informants without their knowledge. A third incident concerned FBI personnel taking property from Ground Zero after 9/11. All of these incidents occurred in the Minneapolis Division, where I was stationed. I dutifully notified my supervisors, who responded by downgrading my ratings. I took the complaints, backed by evidence, through official channels inside the FBI all the way to FBI Headquarters. Thus began a thirteen-year legal battle as senior management in the FBI decided that protecting the FBI’s image was more important than the FBI’s integrity. As this whistleblowing battle intensified, senior management pulled Minneapolis agents away from other duties in the terrorism and criminal realms to flood the area where I was stationed and ask questions regarding my sexual, mental and work habits. The investigation revealed nothing of a negative nature. People said that I was the “quintessential FBI agent.” In February of 2007, I won a jury trial against the FBI. Even witnesses from the United States Attorney’s Office undercut the claims of high-ranking FBI officials that performance issues were the basis for their desire to terminate my employment as an FBI Agent.

Continue Reading Whistleblowers Are Not Terrorists

FBI whistleblower Jane Turner appeared on Fox Business last night to speak about her experience as a whistleblower. After twenty years as a FBI Special Agent, Jane Turner led efforts to force the FBI to provide protection for child sex crime victims on the North Dakota Indian Reservations.  In retaliation for exposing FBI failures within its child crime program, Turner was removed from her position.  Her whistleblower case is still pending. Turner also learned that FBI agents had stolen “souvenirs” from the 9/11 terrorist attack crime scene.  She was fired after reporting the thefts to the Inspector General  A federal jury vindicated her in a historic 2007 verdict in her Title VII discrimination case.

Ms. Turner explained that you have to be blowing the whistle for the right reasons because it places tremendous stress on you and your family. She recommended finding an attorney who specializes in whistleblower law.  If you are considering blowing the whistle on corruption and would like to consult an attorney the National Whistleblower Center Legal Defense and Education Fund may be able to help you.

Watch the latest video at video.foxbusiness.com