[Ed. Note. This a reprint from whistle watch.org and the Brown Center for Public Policy. All rights are reserved by them.
Although we handle whistleblower cases throughout the United States, they are primarily federal False Claims Act, state claims cases, SEC and IRS cases. We do not represent federal employees. Federal employees do not get to receive the large cash awards available to those in the private sector. False claims act whistleblowers, for instance, stand to make millions. Federal whistleblowers like Barbara King (see story below) come forward primarily because they wish to do the right thing.
This article is being reprinted to show that laws against whistleblower retaliation can be effective. Not every whistleblower suffers retaliation but it can be a very lonely place, especially when retaliation does occur. Evy Brown’s story about Barbara King’s triumph over adversity offers hope for all.
If you believe that you have inside information detailing waste or loss to taxpayers by a private corporation or non-profit, give us a call. All inquiries are kept in strict confidence. For more information, contact attorney Brian Mahany at or by telephone at (direct).]
by Evellyn Brown
Whistlewatch.org has obtained an advance copy of another precedent setting decision below, Barbara R. King v. Department of the Air Force, DOCKET NUMBER: DA-0752-09-0604-B-1. The decision by the Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) rules in favor of King as a victim of whistleblower retaliation. King asserted that her demotion after attempting to protect a sexual assault victim was in retaliation for protected whistleblowing.
King, a veteran herself was the Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Program Manager at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. Her job was to investigate, report on and protect sexual assault victims. However, when King attempted to do her job, she found herself a victim of corrupt Air Force management who wanted sex crimes against women to be buried under a blanket of deceit which pointed the finger at the victims instead of at the perpetrators. Ms. King would not go along to get along and soon found herself a victim of whistleblower retaliation, gender and age discrimination.
In an exclusive interview with King, we learned of a long-suffering woman with a family to support who lived in a whistleblower wilderness. She was shunned by the community where she lived, at times not going grocery shopping for fear of being accosted by people who supported management. King lost friends, family members and colleagues who abandoned her either because they were afraid to stand up to management or they did not want to be subjected to retaliation.
This kind of treatment comes as no surprise because whistleblowers are often labeled traitors or troublemakers by those seeking to hide the truth and committing violations of law. Ms. King who raised awareness to the victimization of females in the military should not go unnoticed. Her determination as a pro se litigant to seek justice for whistleblower retaliation rings like a bell that will not be un-rung.
A reading of the case and background documents shows that the Air Force in fact orchestrated a conspiracy to harm King. Government officials must be held accountable and disciplined. We highly recommend the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), who has the power to recommend the Justice Department take action immediately step in.
After King was demoted from her GS-12 position in retaliation for whistleblowing, she filed a complaint with the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) which was dismissed as premature. The appellant King applied for a lower level GS-7 position which she accepted and continued to fight against the injustice at the Air Force for the next 4 years. The decision effective today restores King status quo ante, with all benefits, promotions she would have received, back pay and damages. She is currently awaiting the Air Force response to her calculations. She deserves every penny and more for the suffering she endured.
Whistlewatch.org applauds Ms. King for her heroism and brilliant ethical character because if she would have looked the other way, as ordered or at any time accepted a settlement during the many years of litigation, we may never have learned the extent of the damage to the sexual assault victims. Not to mention the damage to Ms. King’s reputation, her finances and the enormous tax payer waste that occurred at the nations largest employer; the U.S. Federal Government.
We also congratulate the MSPB for this outstanding decision. The Administrative Judge (AJ), Marie A. Malouf at the MSPB states the following, “I find that the agency’s action was retaliation for protected whistleblowing.”
Lastly, the MSPB is following the law to protect federal whistleblowers in the King case which applies the recent Whitmore decision. This is indeed a great day for federal employees who protect the American people.