Monday, March 5, 2012

WISH-TV Reports on Failure to Protect Indiana State Government Whistleblowers

The story, while good, merely scratches the surface of what it is like to be a whistleblower in state government. Laws on the book to protect whistleblowers mean nothing because administrative officials and judges will not enforce them. One thing that is not noted in the report, is the extreme hostility of the Attorney General's Office toward anyone blowing the whistle on wrongdoing or illegal activity in the executive branch.

Judge Gary Miller's comments are excellent.  I though would go further.  Even if the agency does not have to give a legitimate reason for firing you at the time you're terminated after blowing the whistle, courts will allow the agency come up with a non-whistleblowing reason for the firing years later while you're in the middle of litigation.  Courts will then improperly weigh the evidence on summary judgment, concluding you must have been fired for the non-protected, post-litigation reason raised by the agency (such as requesting reorganization which you, in fact, had done several times before without consequences) rather than what your raised for the first time in the memo that got you terminated, such as the misappropriation of state funds and other illegal activity.  Not that I have any personal experience like this.  Totally hypothetical of course.

Also, as noted by other whistleblowers, even if you take your whistleblowing termination case to the State Employees Appeals Commission and win in front of the fine administrative law judges they have over there, the full Commission, which is a political body, will simply reverse the ALJ.

I bet there has not been one case in the last eight years where a fired whistleblower used the laws to protect whistleblowing to successfully sue the State.

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1 comment:

Cato said...

This is Indiana. The establishment wins.

The end.

Before a case is even filed, everyone in Indiana knows how that case is going to come out.