Friday, February 3, 2012

FDA Whistleblower Lawsuit Sparks Congressional Investigation

WASHINGTON - February 2 - Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) launched an investigation in response to a lawsuit filed by six FDA whistleblowers and documents released by the National Whistleblowers Center that show the FDA targeted whistleblowers for special monitoring and intercepted personal communications to Congress, including emails to Senator Grassley's staff.

Senator Grassley, the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a highly respected advocate of government oversight, launched an investigation into the FDA's targeted monitoring of whistleblowers. The Senator specifically asked FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg whether or not whistleblowers were singled out for special monitoring based on a letter they wrote to President-Elect Obama's Transition Team.

Stephen M. Kohn, NWC Executive Director and attorney for six FDA whistleblowers, said:
The FDA went far beyond 'routine monitoring.' They unconstitutionally targeted one group of employees simply because they had the guts to speak up about misconduct. The FDA cannot use unconstitutional tactics to enforce an otherwise neutral employee surveillance policy.
Targeted monitoring has a devastating chilling effect on all public employees, strangling the ability of the American public and Congress to learn about misconduct and corruption in the federal government.


The lawsuit filed last week by the six whistleblowers details how the FDA began targeting employees for special monitoring after learning that the employees blew the whistle on managers' misconduct in approving unsafe medical devices.  The Agency installed (or activated) spyware on their workplace computers and used other technology that to monitor their password-protected Gmail-to-Gmail communications and take contemporaneous screen shots of the employees' computer screens.

The FDA's prolonged, covert monitoring of the whistleblowers continued even after the HHS Office of Inspector General denied the FDA's request to take any criminal and/or administrative action against the whistleblowers. In their letter of refusal, the OIG explicitly informed the FDA that the whistleblowers' communications to Congress were protected under law.

The NWC issued an Action Alert strongly encouraging the public to send email to the President, FDA officials, and members of Congress demanding that the six whistleblowers be protected and targeted surveillance be halted throughout the government.

Links:
Senator Grassley's Letter to FDA Commissioner
FDA Whistleblower Complaint
Intercepted Emails from FDA Whistleblowers
Letter from the HHS OIG
Support FDA Whistleblowers Page
NWC Action Alert

Since 1988, the NWC and attorneys associated with it have supported whistleblowers in the courts and before Congress and achieved victories for environmental protection, government contract fraud, nuclear safety and government and corporate accountability.

CONTACT:
National Whistleblowers Center
lmw@whistleblowers.org


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3 comments:

contrarymary said...

BRAVO! And each citizen should stand beside these whistleblowers, firstly, to ensure they don't die from sudden and unexplained causes, and secondly, to ensure that it doesn't just get swept under the carpet. I hope that this proves, that not all of us are corrupt and easily bought!

Anonymous said...

What does it say about America when not only does there have to be National Whistleblower Center-but that it continuously has to be used against the US government for repeated attempts at corrupt acts against it's citizens?

Why haven't the government offenders been arrested en masse and charged with treasonous acts?

It's because the judicial, executive, and legislative branch members are buddies and will cover for each other until their very last breaths.

Get the guillotines ready.

Anonymous said...

....I have been a "Federally Protected Whistle-Blower",...for over 25 years,...and if the situation in our country was not so dire,..the degree of corruption I witnessed and reported would almost be amusing,.. entertaining,...but in reality,..when you report wrong-doing, and you work within the federal government,...you begin to be exposed to all sorts of strange disciplinary events,...changes of performance reviews,...physical relocation as a punishment
..or even in my case,..I was.... subject to re-re-location as a punishment...

The government is corrupt to it's core, and needs to be legally, constitutionally brought down,....

Regards,

RJ O'Guillory
Author-
Webster Groves-the Life of an Insane Family

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