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Friday, December 5, 2008

Whistleblower Victory!

Demoted Prosecutor Wins Settlement on Whistleblower Claims Against Former U.S. Attorney
The Associated Press by Steve Karnowski - December 4, 2008

A former U.S. Attorney for Minnesota retaliated against a top prosecutor in her office who reported her for careless handling of classified homeland security reports, a watchdog agency said Wednesday. In announcing a whistleblower settlement, the independent Office of Special Counsel said its investigation found that Rachel K. Paulose retaliated against John Marti by taking steps to remove him as her first assistant. Marti accepted a demotion and returned to being an Assistant U.S. Attorney. Under the settlement, Marti will get back pay and a lump sum payment from the Justice Department and any negative references will be removed from his personnel records. The amount of the payment was not disclosed. "I am thankful for the professional, independent investigation conducted by the investigators and attorneys of the Office of Special Counsel," Marti said. He declined further comment. During the investigation, Paulose was reassigned to a nonsupervisory position in the Office of Legal Policy at the Justice Department in Washington. She did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment. The Justice Department declined to comment. The results of the investigation, announced in a written statement, found Paulose "routinely" left classified reports on terrorist activities and possible terrorist targets in the U.S. "unsecured on her desk or on an open bookshelf in her office." A co-worker approached Marti with concerns in March 2007. Acting on the advice of a Justice Department security official in Washington, Marti reported Paulose's conduct to the appropriate Justice officials as required by law and informed Paulose, the Office of Special Counsel said. Paulose immediately began trying to remove Marti as her first Assistant U.S. Attorney, the OSC statement said. He took the demotion the next month.

Paulose's retaliation was a violation of the federal Whistleblower Protection Act, the OSC said. Two other top supervisors stepped down from management roles at the same time as Marti amid reports that they were unhappy with Paulose's management style. The self-demotions in Minnesota came as Congress was investigating allegations that eight former U.S. Attorneys were fired and that U.S. Attorney Offices across the country were being filled by loyalists of President George W. Bush. Paulose had worked closely with top Justice Department officials who came under fire from Congress over the firings. Paulose was named to the job after Tom Heffelfinger resigned. It later emerged that Heffelfinger had been on an initial list of U.S. Attorneys considered for dismissal. The OSC had previously concluded there was a "substantial likelihood" Paulose had "grossly mismanaged" her office and "engaged in abuses of her authority."


Anonymous said...

Well, it's about time. State and federal governments need to HELP whistleblowers, not attempt to destroy them!

Anonymous said...

The OCA previously concluded that there was a substantial likelihood that pltf D was unfit and incompetent and displayed hostile environment and racism....all the charges she accused us of as far back as 2002....but we got her NOW, with our enormous budget and well bribed perjurous employees, as we engaged in abuses of our authority.
This is how present day OCA should read in upstate NY!

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