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Re: whistleblowers

Postby admin » Thu May 28, 2009 9:27 am

It strikes me that one of the recurring problems with whistleblower programs, is that once the identity of the whistleblower is revealed, they come under immediate attack by those who would NOT like the truth to come out on their activities.

This makes it dangerous and usually career ending to tell the truth.

If a whistleblower can be anonymous it might help minimize this, but that raises another issue. Without testimony, clarity, and supplemental information throughout the investigative process, most corporate or government "strong men" can easily derail, diffuse or destroy an investigation that they would like to destroy. If this includes destroying the truth teller, then so be it. They do not care about collateral damage, only about saving their skin at that time.

This means that without constant support from one or more whistleblowers, most truth telling episodes end up being killed off rather quickly. Everyone appreciates this killing off of the problem, since it results in:

a) less work for investigators
b) less damage to reputations
c) less ugliness all around
d) favors earned with the power brokers
e) the satisfaction of self delusion....."we do nothing wrong here"

I have concluded that to blow the whistle (tell the truth) about someone in a position of power above oneself, is considered treason, and is usually dealt with by the most drastic and draconian means available. Telling the truth about someone below you (the janitor for example) is a no brainer and does not carry those risks.

The dangers to a whistleblower involves the bullying, abuse, and criminal acts that a person in power will commit in order to protect themselves. Until whistleblowing processes can address those dangers, while at the same time, allowing active participation by the truth tellers, (not allowing them to be easily silenced), ........until ways and means of protecting the persons in the equation who "rank" below those in positions of power........we will make no progress.

If anyone knows of a whistleblower program that accomplishes this protection, please let me know, as it needs to be put in place in any good whistleblower program. Without it, we become at the mercy of the most predatory minds in any organization.
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Re: whistleblowers

Postby admin » Thu May 28, 2009 9:02 am

(advocate, I posted this here since it partially illustrates how difficult it is to actually tell the truth, or blow the whistle, in an organization. It shows how many, many people will align themselves to ignore or to protect the "system" that they represent. it is almost like they would prefer to be "delusional" about their organization and or their part in their organization, and that this self delusion is preferable to openly admitting that they may be working in (or assisting) a broken or abusive system. Is self delusion more important than truth and the public interest? I would say yes to most people in an organization. Those who think otherwise are usually "out of step" with reality, although they may actually be the least delusional in the organization. Read up on the topic of "double bind" to find out the kinds of damage that can occur to those who are unable to delude themselves)


Whistle Blower Program

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The Whistle-Blower Program is operated by the City of Calgary’s Auditor's Office, which is an independent audit office reporting to Council. The City Auditor Tracy McTaggart states that she is committed to ensuring that an appropriate, objective and impartial investigation will be conducted regardless of the alleged wrongdoer's position, title, and length of service or the relationship with The City of any party who might be involved in such an investigation.
The City Auditor Tracy McTaggart is personally taking charge of the investigation into the complaints of wrongdoings, and illegal and criminal acts committed by Allan Cunningham, City employees and City agents. The complaints were submitted under the newly passed City of Calgary whistleblower program. The initial process was compromised and corrupted by one or more of Ms McTaggart’s investigators.
I firmly believe that if this investigation is done properly by Ms McTaggart it will result in her calling in the Calgary Police Service. AND these individuals being brought to justice, AND substantial amounts of taxpayers monies and substantial amounts of the Bowness Community Associations monies being recovered.

Believe me, the City of Calgary Whistle Blower Program is not confidential, and the Whistle Blower Program is most certainly and definitely compromised.
1. I can tell you right now, that the City of Calgary Whistle Blower Program has been compromised and corrupted by senior individuals within the City of Calgary. This program which is supposed to be entirely confidential and free from corruption is anything but.
2. On the 21st Day of July 2008, a complaint was filed directly with the City of Calgary hotline for the "Whistle Blower Program." The complaint was against Allan Cunningham a lawyer in the City Legal Department and that he committed fraud, mis-management of City funds, subornation of purjery, lying to and misleading the courts, submitting fraudulant applications, malice and acting outside of his powers of authority. From August of 2004 to the present.
3. 16 hours later, at about 8 am the 22nd day of July, I received a call from a man identifying himself as Ron Collins. He stated that he was with the Whistle Blower Program at the City of Calgary and that he was asked by Steve Patterson to give me a call.
4. Collins asked for and was given full details of the complaint that I wished to make to the City, including who I wished to complain about, the dates, and nature of offences/wrongdoings that I wished to have investigated.
5. This was a lengthy conversation (approx 40 minutes), and I told Collins everything (Allan Cunningham, Calgary Law Department, dates, and the nature of the wrongdoings). Collins then stated that he would call me back.
6. When Collins called back he stated that this was not a matter for the Whistle Blower Program but was more a matter for the Courts, and he continually tried to dissuade me from making continuing with complaint.
7. When I stated to Collins that it was a matter for the Whistle Blower Program and that it was not a matter for the courts and the reasons why, he then started getting agitated, and asked if I was a paralegal. Collins then stated that he would have to refer me to his boss Owen Key, but that he was away for a few weeks.
8. When I pressed Collins as to what his position was within the Whistle Blower program he got really agitated and asked me if I was taping the conversation. When I stated why did that matter he put the phone down.
9. I traced the call to (590-8558) and the call was made from Ron Collins Residence. Later that day, I contacted the City of Calgary information line (311) and asked if they had a Ron Collins working for them, they stated that a Ron Collins was a security advisor with the Calgary law Department. They gave me his number (268-5617) I phoned that number and it went to a cell-phone I recognized the voice as the individual who had called me that morning.
10. At no time did Ron Collins state that he was with the Calgary Law Department. I have since been informed that Ron Collins is not involved in the Whistle Blower program.
11. Tracy McTaggart the City Auditor (268-3277) is now conducting 2 investigations. One against Allan Cunningham and the other regarding Ron Collins fraudulent impersonation.
Believe me, the City of Calgary Whistle Blower Program is not confidential, and the Whistle-Blower Program is most certainly and definitely compromised.
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Re: whistleblowers

Postby admin » Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:36 am

Employees threatened if they questioned Stanford's books
Article Comments
The Associated Press
February 20, 2009 at 10:19 AM EST
WASHINGTON — While R. Allen Stanford's investors were swallowing claims of vast returns on safe investments, some of his employees weren't so sure.

And though one of them tried as early as 2003 to pass on to regulators his concerns about the bank, nothing came of it until Stanford's operations were raided and shut down Tuesday.

The Texas billionaire with a reputation for jet-setting and lavish spending faces civil charges for allegedly lying about his investment strategy. But in 2003, when his offshore banking empire was exploding in size, even asking managers one question too many could get you fired, Miami broker Charles Hazlett said.

Mr. Hazlett was a top performer at Stanford's bank, having sold $10-million (U.S.) in certificates of deposit in a single quarter of 2002. The company rewarded him with a new BMW.

But when a client asked Mr. Hazlett for details about the investments, no one at the bank would give him even basic information about risk ratings and asset allocation, he said in an interview.

Eventually, Mr. Hazlett said, he called a meeting with a top officer of the bank to ask how the investments worked. Instead of answers, he got an ultimatum: Resign or be fired.

“I kind of peaked when I won the car and was doing great, but as soon as I started questioning things at the bank, they were setting up to let me go,” Mr. Hazlett said.

It wasn't just promises to investors of earning twice the normal rates on certificates of deposit that fed his suspicions, Mr. Hazlett said. The company also lacked detailed balance sheets. And it used a small and little-known accounting firm.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has been criticized for missing the same red flag — a tiny accounting firm — when investigating Bernard Madoff, who allegedly ran a $50-billion Ponzi scheme for years despite the SEC's receiving numerous tips about him.

Mr. Hazlett said he repeated his concerns during an arbitration hearing over his departure from Stanford and believed regulators would follow up on them.

“I figured it was a matter of time before people figured things out,” he said.

But Mr. Hazlett said he never called officials directly because he didn't have any proof of wrongdoing — just a sense of being stonewalled.

It turned out Mr. Hazlett wasn't the only employee who wanted to know more about Stanford's portfolio.

Even the man responsible for selling multimillion dollar CDs and overseeing the bank's investments said he was rebuffed when he asked where the money was, court records show.

Michael Zarich, the company's senior investment officer, told authorities he didn't know where 90 per cent of Stanford's portfolio was invested.

Mr. Zarich said he was trained to deflect questions about the investment strategy while pitching to wealthy clients in Antigua, where the bank chartered.

His tutor on the evasive pitch was Stanford chief financial officer Laura Pendergest-Holt, Mr. Zarich said. He said she laid out the strategy in a series of training sessions in Memphis in 2005, according to court documents.

“I was trained not to divulge too much information, but it just wouldn't leave an investor with a lot of confidence,” he said in a Feb. 4 meeting with SEC lawyers.

Clients would “just push, push, push,” he told the lawyers. “'Give me an actual security. Give me something,”' he said they demanded.

But when he tried to learn how the money was invested, Pendergest-Holt and Stanford's deputy James Davis turned him away, Mr. Zarich said.

Ms. Pendergest-Holt and Mr. Davis are among those charged in the civil complaint.

Another lower-level employee in Texas said he and his colleagues were suspicious of the company's rapid growth and web of overseas ties. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he still works in the industry.

In fact, the only two people who knew where the money was were Mr. Stanford and Mr. Davis, Stanford's former college roommate, the SEC alleged in a civil complaint filed Tuesday.

Mr. Zarich said Ms. Pendergest-Holt also armed him with answers for potential investors worried about the size of Stanford's tiny, Antigua-based auditor. Mr. Zarich assured investors that CAS Hewlett had been working with Mr. Stanford and his father since 25 years earlier, when major accounting firms “wouldn't even give Stanford the time of day.”

If that didn't work, he said, he told clients that using a name-brand firm “would erode the yields.”

Mr. Zarich is cooperating with the investigation, his lawyer said in a statement.

An SEC spokesman would not elaborate on the agency's initial announcement about the case.

In his training sessions with Ms. Pendergest-Holt, Mr. Zarich said, he learned how to answer the “typical question” of whether Allen Stanford could run off with their money.

“The answer was it would be extremely difficult,” Mr. Zarich told investigators.

As investigators closed in on him last month, Mr. Stanford finally had no choice but to address former employees' concerns.

Complaints from “former disgruntled employees” had complicated an “otherwise routine investigation,” he wrote in an internal e-mail.

Mr. Hazlett said he knew better.

After Mr. Madoff's arrest in December, he said, “I went around telling people, Stanford is next.”

Mr. Stanford was found Thursday in Virginia, where FBI agents acting at the SEC's behest served him with legal documents. He was not arrested and has not been charged with any crime, though federal agents continue to investigate the case.
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Re: whistleblowers

Postby admin » Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:35 pm

Aug. 16, 2003. 01:00 AM

When the whistle blows
There are no legal protections in Canada for the `snitch' who exposes government wrongdoing. Maybe it's time whistle-blowers got


Were it not for the anonymous "snitch" in George Radwanski's office, full details of the former privacy commissioner's notorious dining and travelling at public expense may never have come to light.

But in order to obtain his testimony in June, the House of Commons government operations committee had to promise never to reveal his identity, committee chair Reg Alcock says.

"That's part of the issue," the Winnipeg Liberal MP explains. "Absent a more effective system for dealing with whistle-blowers, we felt we had to offer him protection to testify."

The need for the committee's silence is irrefutable now.

On July 18, British whistle-blower David Kelly was found dead, his wrist slashed open. The public servant's apparent suicide occurred only nine days after the British defence ministry "outed" him as the anonymous weapons inspector who told the BBC his bosses exaggerated the Iraqi threat in order to justify the government's decision to attack.

Whistle-blowers in the Canadian public service have no legal safeguards.

Now, Alcock has joined other politicians on both sides of the House in calling on the government to draft a law to protect them.

It's a move opposition MPs and unions have been urging for a decade, ever since Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's 1993 election promise.

But Alcock's urgent call is being voiced now only as a result of Radwanski's fall from grace.

Earlier this year, Alcock's committee paid mere lip service to whistle-blowing, making only a passing reference to it in its report on ways to encourage disclosure of government wrongdoing without fear of punishment.

"We did not get into the subject as thoroughly as we should have," Alcock admits. "Having had the experience with Radwanski, I think the committee members felt we would have approached this whole question quite differently."

A subcommittee is to begin a study on whistle-blowing next month.

"Governments don't like whistle-blowers," is how Don Soeken explains such foot-dragging.

Founder of a long-established non-profit organization that counsels whistle-blowers in the U.S. public service, Soeken says many are "burned at the stake" despite statutory whistle-blowing protection that has been in place for them since 1989.

Steeped in the convention of loyalty that despises the tattle-tale or stoolie, "snitching" embodies the classic no-win situation — no matter how abhorrent the activity exposed.

A whistle-blower is a person who discloses — within the organization, to outside agencies or to the media — information about something he or she believes is harmful to the public interest.

Jeffrey Wigand, who achieved celebrity status as a whistle-blower with the 1999 movie The Insider, hates the word.

"The semantics creates the perception that the people who do this are not in sync with the normal accepted code," says Wigand, who is now the tobacco regulations adviser for the federal government. "There is a stigma associated with reporting wrongdoing.

"We are viewed as pariahs. We are ostracized by our peers, by the company, by society. There is no tenable way to stay in the company. As you go through the processes, you are earmarked as a troublemaker.

"I don't know anybody who has been rehired who is happy."

The former U.S. tobacco-firm executive was fired in 1993 after he reported his concerns to his supervisor about a pipe-tobacco addictive that caused cancer in laboratory animals.

Two years later, he testified in court and told CBS his ex-employers were deceiving the public by knowingly enhancing the addictive properties of nicotine to boost sales.

Kentucky-based Brown & Williamson hired detectives to trawl through Wigand's private life, publishing a 500-page dossier of his personal "misconduct," a list that was later proved to be "largely unsubstantiated."

But just last year, New York newspapers trotted out the same outdated smears when Wigand was brought in to boost Mayor Michael Bloomberg's anti-smoking lobby.

Most of the employers of the 300 whistle-blowers interviewed by American sociologists Joyce Rothschild and Terance Miethe tried to discipline or fire them and cover up misdeeds. Some managers may have even secretly condoned the misdeed in order to maximize profits.

Rothschild, of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and Miethe, of the University of Nevada, found that even when the disclosures are revealed to be true and of great benefit, whistle-blowers still face significant risk of ostracism by co-workers, long-term economic harm and psychological injury.

In 1998, the federal government was accused of emotional abuse and harassment after Joanna Gaultieri and John Guenette, former realty portfolio managers for the Department of Foreign Affairs, alleged that misspending cost taxpayers $2 billion over the last decade.

That same year, Health Canada scientist Shiv Chopra was reprimanded after he accused the department of pressuring him to approve bovine growth hormone, a drug he considered unsafe. He went public with his concerns, despite a government-imposed gag order.

In 2000, the Federal Court of Canada upheld Chopra's right to speak out, ruling that the public interest outweighs the traditional requirements of employee loyalty.

Only then did Ottawa act. But legislation to protect whistle-blowers was deemed unnecessary.

"We do not have major problems of mismanagement, of corruption ... that would require a large public debate," says an internal government memo, gained through the Access To Information Act by Ottawa researcher Ken Rubin.

Instead of a law, Ottawa created a public service integrity officer in 2001 "to act as neutral entity on matters of internal disclosure of wrongdoing."

Now, that officer, Ed Keyserlingk, says that when he issues his first annual report next month, he, too, will suggest that a law is needed to shield whistle-blowers. "The widespread perception is that we (his office) are not very likely to come up with action or effectively protect people from reprisal," Keyserlingk says, "and it is a perception not without some basis."

An internal process of adjudication looks like simply another way of protecting the government — rather than the whistle-blower — by ensuring that Ottawa's dirty linen is not aired in public.

It would be difficult to imagine a work situation more "dirty" than Chopra's is right now.

In February, he says, he received his first-ever poor performance appraisal in 34 years at the Veterinary Drugs Directorate. His work-at-home contract was cancelled, forcing him to come into the office. He says the environment there — shunning, threats, harassment and isolation — makes him sick.

The directorate disputes the mental toxicity of his workplace and calls the medical support for his absence tardy and inadequate. Chopra just finished a suspension without pay "for unauthorized absence from the workplace, constituting insubordination and unacceptable conduct."

Last year, he and three colleagues filed complaints to Keyserlingk, claiming they "were being pressured to pass or maintain a number of veterinary drugs without proof of human safety and were faced with various forms of punishment if they did not pass or maintain veterinary drugs in a manner consistent with the interests of pharmaceutical companies."

Chopra has given several television interviews critical of Health Canada since that time.

His job is to verify safety data provided by the industry before drugs are approved, and he has virtually made a career out of decrying what he says is industry-induced government sanction of questionable drugs.

"I cannot accept a gag order," Chopra says. "As a public service employee, it is not only my right but my obligation to speak out about matters that concern food safety."

The publicity of his battle against bovine growth hormone led to a Senate inquiry and the decision not to approve the drug for use in Canada.

` We are ostracized by our peers, by the company, by society'

Jeffrey Wigand, noted U.S. whistle-blower


Keyserlingk upheld one example of reprisal, but dismissed the other allegations. Chopra and the others are applying to appeal Keyserlingk's decision to the Federal Court.

Prototypical whistle-blowers are "organizationally naive" and believe the organization wants its practices to be in line with its mission, Rothschild and Miethe report. They typically go public only after management begins to cover up the wrongdoing and intensify the retaliation.

For a civil servant to apply for protection from punishment under the 14-year-old U.S. Whistleblower Protection Act, he must have blown the whistle by going outside the internal chain of command in his government agency. If the federal Merit Services Review Board turns down the claim for protection, the complainant must then resort to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., where the government is working on a complete shutout.

Between 1994 and 2001, Soeken says, all 70 appeals by U.S. civil servants were rejected.

"The Whistleblower Protection Act is a lousy law," says Stephen Kohn, a Washington lawyer, author and chair of the National Whistleblower Center.

Legal protection for American whistle-blowers has been "scandal-driven," he adds, rather than far-sighted and proactive. "Unfortunately, whistle-blowing is very political."

Judging by the American experience, persecution of whistle-blowers will continue as long as governments remain driven by scandal to patch leaks rather than by a real commitment to foster the exposure of unethical activity.

Rothschild and Miethe found that retaliation for both internal and external reporting is severe and common: 69 per cent of the whistle-blowers they interviewed lost their job or were forced to retire, 64 per cent received negative job evaluations, 68 per cent had work closely monitored by supervisors, 69 per cent were criticized or avoided by co-workers and 64 per cent were blacklisted from getting another job in their field.

Proving that job loss or other diminutions in the workplace are directly related to snitching is extremely difficult, says Anthony Incristi, an investigator with the U.S. Department of Labour for Louisiana and eastern Texas.

Versed in discrimination law, Incristi establishes if the case has merit and if there is evidence of unfair treatment as a result. Some complainants, who often aren't clear about why they were fired, find his investigation satisfying enough, he says, even if their allegations are not pursued.

Meanwhile, knowing the laws are being enforced may serve to warn off employers, he says, because a finding of reprisal can lead to fines, restitution or even criminal or civil prosecution.

The best whistle-blower Paula Leggieri can hope for is a $5,000 fine against the City of Toronto if her claim for job-loss retaliation is upheld during the current MFP computer leasing inquiry.

That's the remedy provided by Queen's Park's new Public Service Inquiries Act, created only in direct response to Walkerton's tainted-water scandal in 2000.

Leggieri, Toronto's former leasing supervisor, revealed that as early as the spring of 2001 she had reported her discomfort about equipment schedules not being signed according to protocol, hardware being added to leases that shouldn't have been and the city being overcharged.

The inquiry is examining how the city's hardware and software agreement with MFP came to be worth $85 million, although a July, 1999, report indicated it was worth $43 million.

Not satisfied with the response from her boss, Leggieri went to project director Lana Viinamae, who sent a letter to MFP.

No one could dispute that Leggieri disclosed within her workplace something that was harmful to the public interest.

But when she claimed in June that she lost her job as punishment for her co-operation with the inquiry, she was characterized as a "self-described" whistle-blower. City lawyers dug into her past, grilled co-workers and placed thousands of long-deleted personal e-mails in a document folder that was open to public scrutiny.

These e-mails included beefcake photos of "cowboys" and ribald jokes.

"I appreciate that a lot of what came out was potentially very embarrassing for Paula," says commission counsel Daina Groskaufmanis. "As a commission, we tried to minimize that. At the same time, it was important for us to understand what the relationship was between Paula and (her co-workers.)"

Some of the "raciest" material that the city filed was, in fact, published in the media without ever being led as evidence.

In today's complex technological society, it is often difficult to detect unethical activity unless an insider reveals it. The typical government response of shooting the messenger is not likely to encourage such revelations.

All American whistle-blower laws require reinstatement as part of the remedy, says Kohn, the U.S. whistle-blowing expert.

"But you have to win first. You can be off work for years. You have to prove you blew the whistle on something in the public interest, and that's defined by Congress."

Dr. Nancy Olivieri holds down the same job today — University of Toronto professor of medicine and pediatrics — as she did in 1996, when she says she found evidence that the blood-chelating drug she was clinically testing at the Hospital For Sick Children might hurt some patients.

In 1998, despite the threat of legal action, Olivieri and several of her colleagues published their concerns in a medical journal.

"A spat propelled by a small group of troublemaking malcontents" is how hospital management dismissed the imbroglio that erupted.

"I felt there was an interest in having the belief fostered that I was difficult," Olivieri says.

She was temporarily relieved of her duties as head of the hospital's hemoglobinopathy program in 1999, which effectively prevented her from continuing the clinical drug trials, and she was ordered not to speak publicly about what had happened.

What happened "during five years of vilification, reprisals and harassment," she says, distinguished those who were willing to speak from those who were not.

"Most people don't say anything," Olivieri says. "They try to figure out who is going to win so they can side with that side.

"I wish people would focus on what makes a culture that is so afraid of calling the emperor naked."

For many whistle-blowers, the trauma of their experience has forever changed their perception of themselves, Rothschild and Miethe report. Whistle-blowing has become the critical bedrock of their identity.

"They have come to see themselves as exceedingly moral, and as possessing extraordinary integrity that they now bring to their current endeavours."

Despite their personal and financial devastation, 90 per cent say they would do it again if they had the chance.

After years of acrimony and lawsuits, Olivieri and her colleagues negotiated a settlement with the hospital and the university last fall.

Her legal battles continue, both here, where she is suing the Toronto-based drug company and others, and abroad, where she awaits a ruling from the European Commission on her quarrel with its decision to license the drug for limited use.

"Ninety per cent of people won't do the right thing unless they are forced," says Olivieri, who just received her master's degree in medical ethics and the law.

Wigand, a research biochemist for 20 years, now is lecturing on legal and medical ethics at universities and colleges across the United States.

He could not get a job in his field after 1993, so he retrained as a teacher, taught high school and founded a charitable foundation to promote "Smoke-Free Kids."

"Whistle-blowers don't fare well, and I don't think any sort of legal protection is going to help that, quite frankly," he says.

Citing Aristotle, Wigand says: "But in an ideal better world, the need for a whistle-blower law should be nil, as moral conduct and integrity would be the driving force, not the consequences, for wrongdoing."
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Re: whistleblowers

Postby admin » Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:28 pm

----- Original Message -----
From: "Roger M. Boisjoly" <boisjoly@sisna.com>
To: "Joseph Killoran" <killoran@sympatico.ca>
Sent: Sunday, August 17, 2003 10:27 PM

Subject: Re: IMAGINE: Made-in-Canada "Truthsayer" protection laws that are better

Dear Joe:

I hope the people in Canada grasp the significance of the difference between the terms "Whistleblower" and "Truthsayer/Truthteller." The first being the "Kiss of Death" (concerning career viability) for the person(s) sticking his/her neck out to attempt to correct a wrongdoing or stop a negative event because of all the negative interpretations by the "establishment" associated with the definition of "Whistleblower." However, use of the second term, "Truthsayer/Truthteller," would make it almost impossible for the "establishment" to twist the meaning into a negative interpretation, thus giving the person(s) involved the proper deserved credit and the very real chance to maintain a continuing desirable career.

I send this note because in the United States the public doesn't have a clue about the significant difference between the terms and the "establishment" (industrial complex & government) don't want any changes so they can continue to crush those who speak out. I wish you the best in making the attempt to create what I know to be a necessary change for the good of everyone, not only for those who are on the front line making the attempt to expose the truth.

Best Regards,

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Re: whistleblowers

Postby admin » Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:27 pm

Aug. 20, 2003. 01:00 AM

We can build better laws to protect 'truthsayers'

When the whistle blows

National Report, Aug. 16.

Congratulations to Sarah Jane Growe on her excellent article.

We Canadians can create and implement a system of "truthsayer" protection laws that are far superior to the whistle-blower laws that our American neighbours have implemented.

But first, a little American history is important. American whistle-blower laws were implemented in 1989. They were a cumulative result of many abuses, the most recent being the testimony given by Roger Boisjoly at the hearings into the 1986 explosion of space shuttle Challenger.

For a year prior to the Challenger explosion, Boisjoly, a Morton Thiokol engineer, was telling everybody about the o-ring problems that led to the disaster and nobody acted.

The American whistle-blower model has fundamental flaws that begin with its name. "Whistle-blower" means "snitch." It has nothing whatsoever to do with a "truthsayer," who genuinely is concerned about the safety and well-being of his or her fellow Canadians.

We all learned in public school what "whistle-blower" means. We learned from bullies that "whistle-blower" means, "Not me" and "I don't know" when it comes to being honest and being accountable for our own mistakes.

We can build a system of protection laws that will allow every Canadian to maintain his or her conscience.

Capitalism is full of warts and imperfections. Canadians need to treat their financial well-being with the same degree of attention, care and resources that they do their medical well-being.


Joe Killoran, Oshawa
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Re: whistleblowers

Postby admin » Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:57 pm


February 3, 2009, 6:32 pm
Madoff Whistleblower Assails S.E.C. for Ignoring Him
A former investment manager is prepared to tell a House hearing on Wednesday that the Securities and Exchange Commission ignored his repeated warnings about the dealings of the disgraced financier Bernard L. Madoff.

The manager, Harry Markopolos, asserts that he submitted warnings about Mr. Madoff since 2000 and he assails the agency for ignoring his warnings or brushing them aside. “Nothing was done,” he declares, in what Dow Jones Newswires and Fox Business report is his prepared testimony.

“There was an abject failure by the regulatory agencies we entrust as our watchdog,” Mr. Markopolos says in his testimony. Mr. Madoff was arrested in December and accused of running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

Mr. Markopolos says his experience with most S.E.C. officials

“proved to be a systemic disappointment, and lead me to conclude that the S.E.C. securities lawyers, if only through their investigative ineptitude and financial illiteracy, colluded to maintain large frauds such as the one to which Madoff later confessed.”
Mr. Markopolos describes Mr. Madoff as “one of the most powerful men on Wall Street” and says there was “great danger” in raising questions about him.

During his years of investigation, “my team and I surmised that if Mr. Madoff gained knowledge of our activities, he may feel threatened enough to seek to stifle us,” he says in the testimony.

He also says, “I became fearful for the safety of my family until the S.E.C. finally acknowledged, after Madoff had been arrested, that it had received credible evidence of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme several years earlier.”

Mr. Markopolos says he began his investigation of Mr. Madoff after his superior at Rampart Investment Management asked him to try to match the returns of Mr. Madoff’s firm. Mr. Markopolos says his analysis showed it was impossible for Mr. Madoff to consistently outperform the markets and other managers.

Mr. Markopolos is scheduled to appear before a House Financial Services subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government-Sponsored Enterprises on Wednesday morning. He will be followed by a panel of six securities regulators.

Madoff whistleblower wants to be left alone

Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:52am EST
By Scott Malone

BOSTON (Reuters) - After a decade of trying to convince U.S. authorities that Bernard Madoff's seemingly high-flying hedge fund was a scam, the man whose warnings could have saved a lot of money for a lot of people issued a terse message to the world: Leave me alone.

He will talk to Congressional investigators and that's it.

Madoff stunned the world in December when he allegedly admitted to running a "giant ponzi scheme" that investigators have said cost investors $50 billion (33 billion pounds). In a ponzi scheme, money from new investors is used to pay back earlier investors.

Many people were fooled, but not Harry Markopolos, the 52-year-old former financial executive who had been onto Madoff since 1996.

Members of Congress have repeatedly invoked Markopolos name in questions to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about how it missed the $50 billion fraud.

"Why in the world didn't anyone respond to his allegations?" asked Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat, referring to a 19-page memo Markopolos wrote to the SEC in 2005 titled, "The World's Largest Hedge Fund is a Fraud." Maloney asked during a Congressional hearing: "What happened to his report?"

Markopolos, who was due to testify before a Congressional panel early this month but begged off because of illness, said in a statement that he would work with Congress and the SEC, but then wanted to get out of the spotlight.

"Once his Congressional testimony is complete and his cooperation with the SEC Inspector General's investigation concluded, he wishes to return to private life," the former chief investment officer of Boston-based Rampart Investment Management Co said in a statement released on Friday by his attorneys.


While Markopolos has drawn praise for spotting the massive fraud, according to media reports he is not so proud of his unsuccessful nine-year campaign with the SEC against Madoff.

Madoff is a former chairman of the Nasdaq stock market, which is now part of NASDAQ OMX Group Inc (NDAQ.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

"Why would people think I feel good about this?" the past president of the Boston Security Analysts Society was quoted as telling the Boston Globe. "People think I'm a hero, but I didn't stop him. He stopped himself."

Interest in Markopolos has extended to authors and moviemakers. The Boston Globe reported that he has been approached by people interested in making a movie about him, but he has rebuffed all overtures.

"They'll just add in sex and violence," the Globe quoted Markopolos as saying.

The derivatives expert turned his analytical focus on Madoff in 1996 after his boss at Rampart asked him to figure out how to match the returns of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. Years of analysis convinced Markopolos, originally from Erie, Pennsylvania, that it was impossible for Madoff to consistently outperform markets so dramatically.

He brought his suspicions to SEC officials in Boston and later New York, eventually alleging that Madoff was running a "Ponzi scheme." That type of scam was named for Charles Ponzi, who defrauded Boston-area investors out of millions of dollars in the early 20th Century.


One factor that could have made it harder for Markopolos to convince regulators that Madoff's results were too good to be true is that he had neither the insider information that a staffer at the company would have nor the financial exposure of someone who had invested in the firm.

He was looking into the firm as a competitor.

Still, Markopolos' observations would have stood out from typical complaints, said Jonathan Macey, a Yale University law professor who studies whistle-blowing.

"This is a very unusual case because usually a whistle-blower will call up and say, 'I think that Joe is ripping off the company.' The level of detail that this guy had, you read this thing and he does not come across as a nut. He comes across as somebody who's sophisticated and has a coherent story," said Macey, who has read Markopolos' letters to the SEC but has not met him personally.

One person who worked with Markopolos on a risk-management committee in the early part of this decade said he was not surprised that he remained focused on Madoff for so long.

"His background is one of risk management and mathematics," said Mark Williams, professor of finance and economics at Boston University. "It's about when you see an error, correcting it."

Madoff would have aroused Markopolos' passions by promising high returns without risk, Williams said.

"Madoff was breaking the normal equation," Williams said. "From a pure academic standpoint, Harry was trying to break that and prove that something is wrong here."

A court spokesman said late on Friday that a U.S. judge would rule on Monday on a request by U.S. prosecutors to revoke Madoff's bail and jail him.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Toni Reinhold)
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Re: whistleblowers

Postby admin » Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:34 am

I had the pleasure of sitting in on a talk by Cynthia Cooper, whistleblower in the Worldcom case. She worked in the accounting department at Worldcom, and when she found irregularities, she investigated, despite pressure from senior management to cease and desist. She did the right thing.

One of the things that came out of her presentation was the concept of "do unto others, as you would have others do unto you." What a remarkable concept, and where has it gone? She brought it up as one of the key measuring sticks of ethics, of determining what is wrong and what is right in a faily conflicted world.

I would contrast it with the concept of "do unto others..........and then run", which seems to have become the order of the day in the upper echelons of many corporate entities. How did we get here?

She also mentioned Stanley Milgram, a Yale professor, who in 1961, did some controversial experiments that have become famous. Phoney "shock therapy" was administered by subjects, to other subjects under the supervision of an examiner. Milgram found that 63% of our society would knowingly hurt another human being if they felt that they were "following orders". Sound familiar? Think of war crimes. Think of any forms of institutionalized abuse, bullying or crime.

If you combine the findings of Stanley Milgram, with the cover quote of Martha Stout, ph.d "THE SOCIOPATH NEXT DOOR". "one in twenty five ordinary americans secretly has no conscience and can do anything at all without feeling guilty".

Imagine knowing that one in every 25 people you meet could carry this invisible illness, that would allow them to harm anyone, anything, at anytime, without having even a sliver of anxiety, remorse or hesitation?

Now imagine that this numer is among the general population. My industry was financial services, and I thing the rate of sociopaths that gravitate into that industry is at least double and perhaps triple the national average.

No imagine working for a bank or financial institution that has 60,000 employees worldwide. (I did)

There could be anywhere from 3000, to some 9000 sociopaths walking around in such an organization, and most of the employees would tell you that they are all in management. It would also stand to reason, that a sociopath would not only gravitate into the positions of power and control, but the charm and intelligence and the ruthless determination to get ahead would also funnel them into these positions. What have we got if this is even remotely close to accurate?

We have large corporate organizations, powerful organizatins, where management focus and motivation might be directed by an ill person. Or a thousand ill persons acting in concert or at odds. A "system" if you will. (read THE LUCIFER EFFECT to see this explained well)

With five or ten percent (speculatively speaking) at the top, directing 63% (milgrams shock therapy numbers) who will almost blindly follow orders from above, there is a case to be made that the lunatics are indeed running the asylum. (or the corporation)

The other saying I heard recently that made a great deal of sense to me, was "do no harm". We have seemingly forgotten this, like we have forgotten the golden rule quoted above.

To bring this back around to the current, (and any future) financial crisis that we may find ourselves in, without knowing who to hold accountable. I say it is found among those who represented themselves to the public as "professionals".
Start there, when looking for someone to hold to account for the losses, for the damages and the pain. Follow the money is certainly one method that will also get you there, but do not forget all those pro's who were pulling the strings. They are now pulling on their chins pondering what went wrong. What went wrong is that these so called pros forgot to "do no harm".
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Re: whistleblowers

Postby admin » Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:44 pm

"In America, Speaking the Truth is a Career-Ending Event"

by Paul Craig Roberts CounterPunch

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration.
He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com

January 26, 2009

Where Principles Go to Die

Speaking the Truth is a Career-Ending Event


"The evidence is sitting on the table. There is no avoiding the fact that this was torture.”

These are the words of Manfred Nowak, the UN official appointed by the Commission on Human Rights to examine cases of torture. Nowak has concluded that President Obama is legally obligated to prosecute former President George W. Bush and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

If President Obama’s bankster economic team finishes off what remains of the US economy, Obama, to deflect the public’s attention from his own failures and Americans’ growing hardships, might fulfill his responsibility to prosecute Bush and Rumsfeld. But for now the interesting question is why did the US military succumb to illegal orders?

In the December 2008 issue of CounterPunch, Alexander Cockburn, in his report on an inglorious chapter in the history of the Harvard Law School, provides the answer. Two brothers, Jonathan and David Lubell, both Harvard law students, were politically active against the Korean War. It was the McCarthy era, and the brothers were subpoenaed. They refused to cooperate on the grounds that the subpoena was a violation of the First Amendment.

Harvard Law School immediately began pressuring the students to cooperate with Congress. The other students ostracized them. Pressures from the Dean and faculty turned into threats. Although the Lubells graduated magna cum laude, they were kept off the Harvard Law Review. Their scholarships were terminated. A majority of the Harvard Law faculty voted for their expulsion (expulsion required a two-thirds vote).

Why did Harvard Law School betray two honor students who stood up for the US Constitution? Cockburn concludes that the Harvard law faculty sacrificed constitutional principle in order not to jeopardize their own self-advancement by displeasing the government (and no doubt donors).

We see such acts of personal cowardice every day. Recently we had the case of Jewish scholar and Israel critic Norman Finkelstein, whose tenure was blocked by the cowardly president of DePaul University, a man afraid to stand up for his own faculty against the Israel Lobby, which successfully imposed on a Catholic university the principle that no critic of Israel can gain academic tenure.

The same calculation of self-interest causes American journalists to serve as shills for Israeli and US government propaganda and the US Congress to endorse Israeli war crimes that the rest of the world condemns.

When US military officers saw that torture was a policy coming down from the top, they knew that doing the right thing would cost them their careers. They trimmed their sails. One who did not was Major General Antonio Taguba. Instead of covering up the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandal, General Taguba wrote an honest report that terminated his career.

Despite legislation that protects whistleblowers, it is always the whistleblower, not the wrongdoer, who suffers. When it finally became public that the Bush regime was committing felonies under US law by using the NSA to spy on Americans, the Justice (sic) Department went after the whistleblower. Nothing was done about the felonies.

Yet Bush and the Justice (sic) Department continued to assert that “we are a nation of law.”

The Bush regime was a lawless regime. This makes it difficult for the Obama regime to be a lawful one. A torture inquiry would lead naturally into a war crimes inquiry. General Taguba said that the Bush regime committed war crimes. President Obama was a war criminal by his third day in office when he ordered illegal cross-border drone attacks on Pakistan that murdered 20 people, including 3 children. The bombing and strafing of homes and villages in Afghanistan by US forces and America’s NATO puppets are also war crimes. Obama cannot enforce the law, because he himself has already violated it.

For decades the US government has taken the position that Israel’s territorial expansion is not constrained by any international law. The US government is complicit in Israel’s war crimes in Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank.

The entire world knows that Israel is guilty of war crimes and that the US government made the crimes possible by providing the weapons and diplomatic support. What Israel and the US did in Lebanon and Gaza is no different from crimes for which Nazis were tried at Nuremberg. Israel understands this, and the Israeli government is currently preparing its defense, which will be led by Israeli Justice (sic) Minister Daniel Friedman. UN war crimes official Richard Falk has compared Israel’s massacre of Gazans to the Nazi starvation and massacre of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. Amnesty International and the Red Cross have demanded Israel be held accountable for war crimes. Even eight Israeli human rights groups have called for an investigation into Israel’s war crimes.

Obama’s order to close Guantanamo Prison means very little. Essentially, Obama’s order is a public relations event. The tribunal process had already been shut down by US courts and by military lawyers, who refused to prosecute the fabricated cases. The vast majority of the prisoners were hapless individuals captured by Afghan warlords and sold for money to the stupid Americans as “terrorists.” Most of the prisoners, people the Bush regime told us were “the most dangerous people alive,” have already been released.

Obama’s order said nothing about closing the CIA’s secret prisons or halting the illegal practice of rendition in which the CIA kidnaps people and sends them to third world countries, such as Egypt, to be tortured.

Obama would have to take risks that opportunistic politicians never take in order for the US to become a nation of law instead of a nation in which the agendas of special interests override the law.

Truth cannot be spoken in America. It cannot be spoken in universities. It cannot be spoken in the media. It cannot be spoken in courts, which is why defendants and defense attorneys have given up on trials and cop pleas to lesser offenses that never occurred.

Truth is never spoken by government. As Jonathan Turley said recently, Washington “is where principles go to die.”

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com

(advocate comment.......ironically, I have always said that the corporate abuse and retaliation against those who tell the truth is also a form of psychological torture towards the truth teller)
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Re: whistleblowers

Postby admin » Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:10 pm

How does a $50 billion Ponzi scheme work? The Answer: when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the federal government ignores repeated "credible and specific allegations" of fraud made by whistleblowers over the course of 9 years. Now, as reported in Times Online, Bernard Madoff, former chairman of NASDAQ, is responsible for billions of dollars worth of losses among the world's biggest financial institutions, charities, state pensions, and personal savings.

The Solution: real whistleblower protection. Whistleblowers that are courageous enough to stand up and report fraud do not have the legal protection that they deserve. Click here to sign a petition urging Congress to enact a national whistleblower law that will provide all whistleblowers the right to federal court proceedings, a trial by jury, and reasonable damages.

The National Whistleblowers Center has been fighting for stronger whistleblower protection for 20 years. We are a non-profit organization that depends on donations. If you would like to contribute to our ongoing fight to defend American workers and strengthen oversight and accountability please click here.

We will be contacting you in the upcoming weeks as we push to get this critical legislation passed within the first 100 days of the new Congress. To learn more about the NWC's legislative initiative please click here to read our policy paper. You can also learn more about breaking whistleblower news by reading the Whistleblowers Protection Blog.

Thank you for all your help over this past year. We look forward to working with you in the new year.


Stephen M. Kohn
National Whistleblowers Center

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Re: whistleblowers

Postby admin » Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:14 pm


for another peek at what happens to those whose loyalty to the public interest is greater than loyalty to ones immediate superiors

The Fed Who Blew the Whistle
Is he a hero or a criminal?
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Postby admin » Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:10 pm

The Whistleblower's Ordeal & Some Canadian Whistleblowers

The Whistleblower's Ordeal
This article is about the typical experience of whistleblowers: how they find themselves compelled to speak out, and the typical consequences for them.


Did you ever wonder about some big scandal: “Why did no-one speak out and reveal the truth about this?” even though hundreds of people must have known what was going on? The reason is simple:

this is a very dangerous thing to do, and few people have the courage required.
Anyone can find themselves in a position of having to choose between their conscience and what they are being told to do by their boss – most of us are just fortunate that this has never happened to us around an important issue. Most whistleblowers don’t start out intending to take a heroic stance or to confront the powers that be – they simply feel that they cannot ‘go along’ with some course of action that seems wrong to them.

Then one thing leads to another… Only later do they discover that it’s not just their immediate boss or a colleague that they are up against, but perhaps an entire department, perhaps an entire government, desperate to avoid bad publicity.

The reflex to deny and cover up can cause people in positions of power to overlook, condone and perpetuate all kinds of wrongdoing: incompetence, neglect and even criminal acts – all to avoid the spotlight of the media and public opinion.

Thus most whistleblowers find themselves in this role by accident, not by choice. They soon discover that this is a dangerous, career-changing, sometimes even life-threatening role. Although each whistleblower may face different circumstances in different organizations, there are uncanny similarities in what they experience. Here are the typical phases that whistleblowers go through.

1. Awareness
This phase starts with a realization that there is a difficult decision to be made. The individual may realize that:

they are being told (or expected) to do something that they believe is wrong, even illegal
they face a conflict between following orders and obeying their conscience
whatever direction they choose may be irreversible: if they decide to ‘go along’, then they may become implicated, and if not they will be in conflict with the system.
2. The decision of conscience
The individual grappling with this decision will typically agonize at some length over how to proceed. They may seek the advice of close friends and perhaps a lawyer; and they will surely discuss their options with their family, who will also be affected by the decision.

Finally, they settle on a course of action. The decision may be to explicitly refuse to follow orders, or to seemingly 'go along' – but to gather evidence in order to expose the wrongdoing later. Many people will understandably decide to do as they are told, fearful of the consequences of 'rocking the boat'.

3. Raising concerns internally
Many whistleblowers believe at first that the senior people in the organization are unaware of what is going on, would want to know, and would do something about the problem if they did know. So they may decide to take their information ‘up the line’ within the organization.

The first approach may be to more senior people in the chain of command. If this is unsuccessful, the next step may be to go direct to someone at the top who seems honest and trustworthy.

The initial reactions of management may sometimes lead the whistleblower to believe that their information is valued and will be acted on – but this is often nothing but a ploy. This tactic may silence the whistleblower for a while, and lull the individual into a false sense of security while the wrongdoers plan their campaign of cover-up and reprisal.

4. Facing the initial retaliation
Often much sooner than they expected, the whistleblower finds that inexplicably many things seem to be going badly for them at work:

They suddenly receive poor performance reviews (perhaps after decades of stellar work), they are reassigned to less meaningful work, or relocated to a distant backwater (this is called 'freeway therapy')
Sometimes they are told bluntly that these are the consequences of 'rocking the boat'. Sometimes they are given implausible explanations or no explanation at all
They may become the object of a smear campaign by senior people, designed to discredit them and isolate them from colleagues
Colleagues and friends at work may become frightened to speak to, or even to be seen with the whistleblower
Other employees may shun the whistleblower, make jokes about them behind their backs – as well as in their faces, and accuse them of being a traitor or a troublemaker.
This situation is very demoralizing and hard to bear: because it may be almost impossible to prove that this is a campaign of retaliation; because the whistleblower has no recourse; and because it is never-ending.

5. The decision To commit Fully
At this point, many people feel that they cannot take any more and try to escape in some way – perhaps to a new job somewhere else, hoping that this will put them beyond the reach of further retaliation.

Others find themselves even more determined to stick to their guns. Having realized what they are up against, and that their initial efforts have failed, they may decide on a new course of action.

Some whistleblowers – perhaps wisely – avoid this initial retaliation by choosing at the outset to remain anonymous as long as possible, and instead to leak information to the media. These people understand that anonymous leaks to the media, although officially condemned as villainous, are in fact a tried and tested method of obtaining publicity, used frequently by politicians and bureaucrats alike. Every journalist is fully aware of this.

Another benefit of remaining anonymous is that the whistleblower is not immediately neutralized, but can remain in place undetected for longer, still gathering information to expose the wrongdoing.

6. Going public, and the consequences
Facing retaliation, and realizing that those in power are not going to fix the problem, the whistleblower may now feel that the only course of action left is to go public – to provide information to the media. However, this is a dangerous strategy, for many reasons, and it will immediately lead to a serious escalation in the reprisals.

A leak to the media presents a clear and present threat to the wrongdoers, who will immediately ‘pull out all the stops’ to neutralize this threat. If they know the source, their counter-attack will be designed to discredit the whistleblower: typically to paint this person as unreliable, mentally unstable, pursuing a grudge or ulterior motive, being a liar, a thief, a sexual deviant…

No slander is too extreme to be believed by some people -- because those accused have the credibility of their position and authority. Perhaps the whistleblower’s allegations about prominent people seem harder to believe than the lies being told about the whistleblower. People are reluctant to believe that those in power could be so corrupt.

The whistleblower is now completely dependent upon the media to present his/her case. Yet the media are not always reliable and not truly anyone’s ally.

The media will always present both sides of the story, including the wrongdoers’ counter-allegations and slanders, however bizarre. The media can often be superficial or inaccurate in their reporting. The media rarely assign resources to conduct proper investigative reporting to get at the facts: it’s much quicker, easier and cheaper just to print what they are told.

And the media are fickle: they may quickly drop the story as no longer ‘newsworthy’ and move on, leaving the whistleblower in limbo – discredited and without a voice.

The very act of giving information to the media may be itself viewed as unprofessional or illegal, and the wrongdoers may seize on this as a pretext for more harsh and direct punishment: perhaps invoking disciplinary procedures or taking legal action against the whistleblower. If the identity of the whistleblower is not yet known, every effort will be made to discover this – even prosecuting or intimidating journalists to reveal their sources.

7. The war of attrition
The whistleblower is now locked into a massively lopsided war of attrition.

On one side stand the wrongdoers, still with the credibility and authority of their positions and with the full resources of the organization behind them: legions of lawyers and public relations people, private detective agencies, perhaps even hired thugs, and seemingly unlimited funds (often being provided by the taxpayer).

On the other side stands the whistleblower, by now typically discredited in the public’s eyes, unemployed, unemployable (because of the notoriety of their case), running out of money, and perhaps losing the support of friends and family.

A union may sometimes provide some support e.g. helping the whistleblower to fund a legal defense. However, just as often the union does not want to ‘rock the boat’ by challenging those in authority. Or the union may feel that it should focus on issues like pay and benefits that affect all members, rather than taking on the costly and time-consuming defense of just one individual.

And the union itself may be incompetent, corrupt or have its own hands in the till. People who have blown the whistle on union wrongdoing have suffered reprisals just as vicious as from any corporation or government department.

A large proportion of whistleblowers are by this time so worn down by the assault on their lives, their finances and their self-esteem, that they become clinically depressed. Some commit suicide. Others just manage to struggle on somehow.

By this stage few whistleblower are well equipped --mentally, emotionally or financially -- to deal with the demands of the legal process they now face: with endless legal documents to complete, discovery of evidence, appearances in court etc.

Those who don’t have the support of a union or professional association simply cannot afford the legal fees to defend themselves. Often their lives past and present are being put under the microscope, their every word and deed scrutinized, so that ground for further attacks can be found.

As the retaliation continues and escalates, many whistleblowers lose their families, their homes, even their supposedly secure pensions.

Another factor that makes this contest unequal is that those in authority will often abuse their powers further – even blatantly breaking the law – to hide embarrassing facts and thus to discredit the whistleblower. For example, government departments may invoke ‘national security’ to prevent disclosure. Freedom of Information requests may be stalled or ignored. Official inquiries that are getting close to the truth may be arbitrarily shut down. Key reports and documentary evidence may be ordered shredded. Police raids may be conducted to intimidate perceived critics or supporters of the whistleblower.

It’s not unusual for whistleblowers to receive death threats. When there is a lot at stake, or when career criminals are involved in some way, then these threats are highly credible and need to be taken seriously.

Dr. Jeffery Wigand received several anonymous deaths threats after his disclosures of wrongdoing in the tobacco industry. None of these was ever traced back to its source and no-one was ever charged for these criminal acts.

8. The endgame
The harsh reality is that vested interests usually triumph: whenever the laws are inadequate, the media lazy and compliant, or citizens inattentive, then wrongdoers in high positions can discredit their accusers and bury embarrassing facts. In this situation odds are heavily stacked against whistleblowers, and only a few can ever succeed.

Even those who appear to have been successful – such as those recognized on the cover of Time Magazine – may in fact have failed in their own efforts. Later, when the scandal becomes too big to hide, the whistleblowers may be called on to testify in the subsequent inquiries. Then they may be rehabilitated, and their reputations restored. They may even be recognized for their efforts. Few get their jobs back or any kind of compensation for their ordeal.

Some whistleblowers escape to a new life, perhaps in a different place and a different job, with their families and their lives intact. But most never expect to lead normal lives again, or to find gainful employment commensurate with their abilities. Many are forever damaged in some way, perhaps subject to debilitating anxiety or depression.

Aside from the devastating effects on their lives, perhaps the most painful aspect for most whistleblowers is that there is no end to the story. For most, the harassment in various forms never stops. Most are never vindicated: usually their allegations remain unproven or clouded in doubt and controversy. And most never receive justice: the problems that they sought to uncover are not corrected, and no-one is called to account.

9. The Consequences for the Rest of Us
These are the typical consequences for the whistleblower of speaking up. But what are the consequences for the rest of us when whistleblowers are crushed and silenced in this way?

Corruption is like a cancer that strikes at the very roots of democracy. Powerful politicians and bureaucrats get to pursue their personal agendas at public expense; big business interests, power brokers, even organized crime, get to influence government policy decisions and manipulate the use of public resources. The private citizen is kept in the dark and disempowered.

The main problem of corruption is not that money ends up in the pockets of a few wrongdoers: the main problem is that it subverts the entire decision-making process, whether in government or in business.

In government, corruption leads to massive waste of public money on flawed projects, and disastrous policy decisions on important matters – like health care, defense, energy – all because those involved are focused on narrow self interest, not on the public good.

In corporations, corruption leads to practices which are bad for the customers, bad for employees, and ultimately bad for shareholders and the business. In the most extreme cases, like Enron, the corporation wreaks havoc on society (e.g. deliberately causing electricity blackouts in California) – and then after the collapse leaves thousands of employees ruined and millions of shareholders cheated.

10. What we can do
In a democracy the ultimate antidote to corruption is public disclosure, and hence accountability of both governments and corporations to the law. That is why it is essential to protect people like whistleblowers who put themselves at risk to help shine a public spotlight on wrongdoing.

To preserve a free and democratic society, we need to create systems to protect whistleblowers, such as:

strong legislation that gives them the right to speak out, ensures that their allegations are investigated, and outlaws the harsh retaliation that is common practice today
advocacy organizations that will lobby for whistleblower rights, and provide moral and financial support to whistleblowers in need
greater awareness among private citizens – and a willingness to act, so that public opinion can be mobilized and our governments and corporations held to account for their actions.
All of this is possible if the will exists.

None of us knows when we might find ourselves being forced to make an agonizing choice -- to stifle our conscience and 'go along' with wrongdoing, or to defy the wrongdoers and risk the consequences.

We owe it to ourselves, and to all the brave people who have already gone down this path, to do create a system that will protect and honour whistleblowers, so that many more can step forward, tell the truth and protect us.

Some Canadian Whistleblowers
The following people have all demonstrated the courage of their convictions by speaking up when they saw wrongdoing. Many helped exposed corruption that needed to be put right for the public good. A few have been recognized and publicly praised for their efforts -- but most have suffered from harsh retribution from their employers as a result of their actions. Their stories demonstrate the value of whistleblowers, and the absolute need for strong legal protection for these people.

Joanna Gualtieri exposed lavish extravagance in the purchase of accommodation abroad for staff in Foreign Affairs. The Inspector General and Auditor General of Canada later supported her allegations. Gualtieri claimed the Bureau seemed not to care, that her bosses harassed her for raising the concerns and that she was a given dead-end job after coming forward.
Ms. Gualtieri continued to battle for other whistleblowers by founding FAIR (Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform) and by serving as a director for almost 10 years.
Click here for a summary of Ms. Gualtieri's case

The 'RCMP Five'. The RCMP Pension Fund scandal finally came to light through the efforts of five people, who all struggled on courageously in the face of apparent attempts by RCMP top brass to block investigations.

Denise Revine was the human resource director who first uncovered the suspicious transactions and compiled a massive file of evidence.
Her boss Chief Superintendent Fraser Macaulay tried to ensure that this evidence was properly investigated – and was removed from his position and given what he believed was a punitive secondment.
Retired Staff-Sgt. Ron Lewis led persistent efforts to make someone in authority pay attention – first within the RCMP, then in outside agencies such as the Treasury Board and Auditor General, and finally to MPs and the media.
Staff-Sgt. Steve Walker took part in the Ottawa Police Service's criminal investigation into the affair, and
Staff-Sgt. Mike Frizzell was abruptly removed from the investigation as his inquiries got close to senior RCMP management.
In an unprecedented turn of events all five were given the RCMP’s most coveted award, the Commissioner’s Commendation, for outstanding service, and a Commons committee unanimously passed a motion that the five be publicly commended and that commendation be tabled in Parliament. Prior to this, no Canadian whistleblower had ever received formal thanks or recognition from the authorities.
Click here for media articles about the 'RCMP Five'
Allan Cutler was a procurement officer with Public Works Department who refused to go along with improper procurement practices, and as a result suffered retaliation from management over the course of many years. Allan Cutler lodged a complaint, which prompted a departmental audit of the advertising and public opinion division. But by the time the audit was underway, Cutler was transferred to the technical and special services division of Public Works. During the Sponsorship Scandal investigation Cutler tabled an inch thick document which contained meticulous notes, memos and his own diary detailing how the rules were being broken. The evidence that he painstakingly gathered during this ordeal led to the Gomery Inquiry.
Click here for media articles about Allan Cutler
Ian Bron is a former naval officer who held the position of Chief of Marine Transportation Security Regulatory Affairs at Transport Canada. Concerned that systemic mismanagement, unethical practices by management and rampant workplace harassment were undermining the security of the marine transportation system, and placing Canadians at risk, he reported the problems he saw to the Office of the Auditor General and the Public Service Integrity Office in 2006.

Bron alleges that Transport Canada executives immediately initiated a campaign of reprisal and cover-up. While he remains employed in another department, Transport Canada officials have labelled him as disgruntled, disloyal and unethical, and have made it clear that they intend to seek his dismissal from the public service. In 2007 Bron initiated legal action against his former bosses but admits that, faced with the example of Joanna Gualtieri's 10-year old legal struggle, he is deeply concerned about his future.
Click here for media articles about Ian Bron
Brian McAdam's 30 year career in the foreign service ended suddenly in 1993 after he exposed corruption at the Canadian Consulate in Hong Kong and the infiltration of Chinese organized crime members and spies into Canada. His work saved the Canadian government an estimated $50 million, prevented the entry of over 1,000 organized crime figures such as Triad, Yakuza, and Mafia members into Canada, and revealed China's extensive espionage activities in Canada, which have now been confirmed by Canada's intelligence service, Chinese defectors and others.
Click here for media articles about Brian McAdam

Cpl. Robert Read a 26 year veteran of the RCMP was fired after investigating government corruption involving the Canadian High Commission in Hong Kong. In the course of his investigation he uncovered evidence of the corruption and what appeared to him to be a massive cover-up of that evidence. Read‘s investigation involved very rich and powerful members of the business community in Hong Kong, political connections in the People‘s Republic of China and the Liberal government of Jean Chretien.

An RCMP external review committee later vindicated Read saying the Mounties had seriously mishandled investigations into complaints that Asian triads had infiltrated the embassy. The committee also found that the national police force was reluctant to investigate foreign affairs employees who were suspected of taking bribes from China‘s rich and powerful, many of whom are widely known to be part of the communist spy network. In its ruling, the committee said that Read was justified in taking his concerns to the media and ordered him reinstated. The RCMP refused.

Read took his case to the Federal Court of Canada. In June 2005 Judge Sean Harrington condemned Read for “a lack of loyalty to the government” and reaffirmed his firing. Read has since appealed all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, which in May 2007 declined to hear his case.
Click here for media articles about Cpl. Robert Read

The 'Health Canada three'. In 1998 three Health Canada scientists, Dr. Shiv Chopra, a senior veterinary drug evaluator in Health Canada's Therapeutic Products and Food Branch, along with Dr. Margaret Hayden in the Animal Health Division, and Gerard Lambert blew the whistle on the drug approval process for bovine growth hormone and animal feed. They said human health concerns were being ignored due to pressure from lobbyists of drug companies. In June 2004 all three were fired by Health Canada.
Click here for media articles about the Health Canada scientists

Dr. Nancy Olivieri, a scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children and clinical professor at the University of Toronto discovered evidence suggesting that a drug she was testing might be life threatening. Apotex Inc. which partly funded her research insisted that she should not publish her results and threatened legal action if she were to inform the patients in the trials. The U of T refused to intervene, in spite of its responsibilities for public health and for scientific integrity. Critics observe that the U of T was at that time negotiating with Apotex Inc. for a multimillion dollar donation for a new building. After independent investigations vindicated Dr. Olivieri, she took a leave of absence to pursue her research.
Click here for media articles about Dr. Nancy Olivieri

Bob Stenhouse, a much-decorated, 18-year veteran of the force with extensive undercover experience, landed in hot water in 1999 when he disclosed RCMP media strategies for outlaw biker gangs to Yves Lavigne which appear in the book Hells Angels at War. Frustrated with a lack of enforcement initiatives, Stenhouse believed the national strategy was merely a public relations exercise. Stenhouse was found guilty of discreditable conduct and ordered to resign. A court ruled his disciplinary hearing was unfair and ordered a new one which ruled he should be reinstated. In June of 2004 he was reinstated and then immediately suspended with pay while the RCMP awaits a new court-ordered disciplinary hearing.
Click here for media articles about Bob Stenhouse

Constable Perry Dunlop, a police officer in Cornwall, Ontario, uncovered evidence of an alleged pedophile ring. When he discovered that Cornwall police were not taking action to prosecute the suspects he alerted the Childrens' Aid Society. As a result he was charged with contravening his duties under the Police Act. He was subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing, as judges ruled that his duties to Children’s Aid superceded his responsibilities as a police officer. Dunlop subsequently left Cornwall and moved to the west coast to escape taunts and threats against himself and his family.

A massive petition from Cornwall residents eventually spurred an OPP probe "Project Truth' which laid 114 charges against 15 men. These mostly foundered for various reasons, but in other prosecutions five paedophiles with connections to the members of the alleged ring were eventually convicted. Once the court cases were complete, a long-promised public inquiry was launched, which has been the subject of much controversy.

Click here for media articles about Perry Dunlop and the Cornwall Public Inquiry

Dr. John O'Connor, an Alberta doctor, was startled to encounter several cases of a very rare cancer in Fort Chipewyan, in the Athabasca oil patch. His further investigations revealed unusually high rates of cancers among the residents, and he called for a thorough health review of the community. His findings contributed to concerns that oil extraction operations may be contaminating the environment with carcinogenic chemicals.

In what was perceived as an attempt to muzzle him, Health Canada doctors lodged five complaints against O'Connor with his professional body -- charges which could have resulted in the loss of his licence. Doctors were alarmed by this incident, since such reports from doctors in the field have been vital to the detection of new diseases such as AIDS. Consequently, in 2007 the Canadian Medical Association passed a resolution calling for whistleblower protection for doctors -- apparently to protect them from Health Canada.

Click here for media articles about Dr. John O'Connor

Selwyn Pieters was fired after going public about wrongdoing at the Immigration and Refugee Board. While the board says it axed him for tarnishing its image by lying to the media. He argues in Federal Court documents that his dismissal was in retaliation for blowing the whistle.

Lesley Anthony and Jean Bowen were hailed as heroes after they secretly videotaped the plight of an elderly woman in a Versa-Care Long-Term-Care Home. Lesley Anthony is being accused of professional misconduct for her actions.

Dr. Barry Armstrong, Canadian Armed Forces. The Canadian Forces doctor was considered one of the initial whistle blowers in Somalia Inquiry. There was a campaign within the military to smear him until he retired.

Dr. Michelle Brill-Edwards, of the Health Protection Branch, resigned in 1996, claiming wholesale abuses inside the Branch.

Bruce Brine who had 22 years of policing and a 1994 governor-general's award for exemplary service, was fired from his job as chief of the Halifax ports police in 1995 after he made allegations that senior officials with the Canada ports police were getting kickbacks from the Hells Angels. The ports police were disbanded in 1998 and the ongoing investigations were abandoned -- just as they were in Vancouver in 1997. Much of the material from the files of those investigations was listed as missing when Mounties began to pursue his obstruction complaint. Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission awarded him a cash settlement, an apology and a letter of reference from the port authority.

Gary Lovett got fired for telling the media that Canada's base in Afghanistan didn't have adequate fire-fighting gear. Though his pay came from the Canadian government, it flowed through a contractor, SNC-Lavalin.

Linda Merk discovered that the president and business manager of Ironworkers Union Local 771were double dipping on their travel expenses. Raise the matter "in house” and then went to the police. She was fired. In a precedent-setting decision, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled in her favour.

Ron Robertson's dismissal is the latest in a series of events which began in 1998, when he came forward with concerns the force had been infiltrated by organized crime.

Michael Sanders, financial analyst, Office of the Superintendent for Financial Institutions, blew the whistle on the absence of sufficient safeguards to protect taxpayers against the collapse of major financial institutions. He was fired from his job.

Bernard Dussault, chief actuary, Canada pension plan, reported that he was asked to modify numbers to paint a more positive state of the CPP. He was fired.
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Postby admin » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:12 pm

here is another way to silence whistleblowers when they are telling the truth.............say if the truth happens to be a bit close to causing you or your corporation to be offside with the law............use a "private search warrant" to enter the persons home, seize all offending evidence against yourself, and throw them off their course of doing the right thing..............welcome to the legal tool called anton piller. A fantastic method to use to beat your opponent senseless.

Anton Piller Order: July 27, 2006, Supreme Court of Canada Conflicts of Interests decision

Anton Piller order: A powerful tool, but be wary of pitfalls
SOURCE: Blaney McMurtry LLP
AUTHOR: John Polyzogopoulos

This is the second of three articles on unusually forceful, difficult-to-obtain court orders that can enable companies that fear they are the victims of such illegal activities as fraud, intellectual-property theft, and trade secret theft to capture evidence before it might be destroyed or to freeze assets that could be used to pay claims they might win.

The first article in this series focused on Norwich orders, which allow a person to obtain information from a third party, in particular a proposed defendant’s bank, before moving forward with the claim against the defendant himself (see the January 2008 issue of Commercial Litigation Update).

This article focuses on obtaining information from the target defendant immediately upon making the decision to bring the claim, without having to wait for the normal voluntary discovery process, which may not take place until months after the lawsuit has already been started. Such orders are called Anton Piller orders, named after the famous English decision in which one was first made.

In its most recent pronouncement on Anton Piller orders, in its decision on Celanese Canada v. Murray Demolition Corp.,

The Supreme Court of Canada has actually described an Anton Piller order as being a “private search warrant.” In his opening paragraph in the Celanese decision, Justice Binney states:

“An Anton Piller order bears an uncomfortable resemblance to a private search warrant. No notice is given to the party against whom it is issued. Indeed, defendants usually first learn of them when they are served and executed, without having had an opportunity to challenge them or the evidence on which they were granted. The defendant may have no idea a claim is even pending. The order is not placed in the hands of a public authority for execution, but authorizes a private party to insist on entrance to the premises of its opponent to conduct a surprise search, the purpose of which is to seize and preserve evidence to further its claim in a private dispute.

The only justification for such an extraordinary remedy is that the plaintiff has a strong prima facie (Latin, meaning on its face) case and can demonstrate that on the facts, absent such an order, there is a real possibility relevant evidence will be destroyed or otherwise made to disappear.”

As can be seen, therefore, the Anton Piller order can be a very powerful tool to help in the investigation process and to preserve evidence. It is difficult to obtain, however, and there are many pitfalls that can befall a litigant and counsel if not done properly.

As set out by Justice Binney in the Celanese decision, there are four central conditions that must be met before the making of an Anton Piller order:

the plaintiff must demonstrate a strong case;
the damage to the plaintiff as a result of the defendant’s alleged misconduct, potential or actual, must be very serious;
there must be convincing evidence that the defendant has in its possession incriminating documents or things; and
it must be shown that there is a real possibility that the defendant may destroy such material before the discovery process can do its work.
In cases where there is fraud, it is usually easier to satisfy these requirements. The more difficult cases are the pure commercial cases involving unfair competition, where the plaintiff alleges that the defendant is misusing confidential, proprietary or intellectual property claimed to be owned by the plaintiff. These cases are not on the same level as fraud and therefore the mere fact that a defendant may be using information that is claimed as proprietary by the plaintiff does not amount to the level of fraud such that a court can infer that evidence or documents will be destroyed if an Anton Piller order is not granted.

Where an Anton Piller order is granted, the plaintiff, through its counsel, is essentially given the right to show up at the defendant’s door unannounced and demand that documents and other physical evidence be immediately turned over.

Anton Piller orders are so draconian and involve such a gross and serious violation of a defendant’s privacy rights that the Supreme Court saw fit to delineate in Celanese a set of guidelines for the preparation and execution of an Anton Piller order. The guidelines are as follows:

the order should appoint a supervising solicitor who is independent of the plaintiff or its solicitors and is to be present at the search to ensure its integrity;
the plaintiff is required to provide an undertaking and/or security to pay damages in the event that the order turns out to be unwarranted or wrongfully executed;
the scope of the order should be no wider than necessary and no materials shall be removed from the site unless clearly covered by the terms of the order;
the terms setting out the procedure for dealing with solicitor/client privilege or other confidential materials should be included in the order with a view to enabling defendants to advance claims of confidentiality over documents before they come into the possession of the plaintiff or its counsel or to deal with disputes that arise;
the order should specify that items seized may only be used for the purposes of the pending litigation;
the order should state explicitly that the defendant is entitled to return to court on short notice to discharge or vary the order or vary the amount of security;
the order should provide that the materials seized be returned to the defendants or their counsel as soon as practicable;
the order should provide that the search be commenced during normal business hours, when counsel for the party about to be searched is more likely to be available for consultation;
the premises should not be searched or items removed except in the presence of the defendant;
the persons who may conduct the search and seize evidence should be specified in the order or be specifically limited in number;
the order should require that it be served together with the statement of claim and the supporting affidavits used to obtain the order and the plaintiff’s counsel or the supervising solicitor should explain to the defendant in plain language the nature and effect of the order;
the defendant should be given a reasonable time to consult with counsel prior to permitting entry to the premises;
a detailed list of all evidence seized should be made and the supervising solicitor should provide this list to the defendant for inspection and verification at the end of the search and before materials are removed from the site;
where this is not practicable, documents seized should be placed in the custody of the independent supervising solicitor and defendant’s counsel should be given reasonable opportunity to review them to advance solicitor/client privilege claims prior to the release of the documents to the plaintiff;
where ownership of material is disputed, it should be provided for safe keeping to the supervising solicitor or to the defendant’s solicitors;
the order should specify that the responsibilities of the supervising solicitor continue beyond the search itself to deal with matters arising out of the search;
the supervising solicitor should be required to file a report with the court regarding the search and seizure; and, lastly,
the order may require the plaintiff to bring a further motion to the court for a review of the execution of the search.
In Celanese, the defendant sought to have the plaintiff’s solicitors removed as solicitors of record because they had reviewed documents that were protected by solicitor/client privilege that had been seized during the execution of the Anton Piller order.

There had not been proper procedures put in place to deal with privileged documents before they would be reviewed by the plaintiff’s solicitors. The plaintiff’s solicitors were removed as counsel, undoubtedly resulting in much expense and inconvenience to the plaintiff.

In their initial discussions with counsel, clients should be aware of the possibility of seeking an Anton Piller order where there is good reason to believe that the proposed defendant was not acting in good faith and may destroy documents or evidence if put on notice of a claim. Experienced counsel should be engaged when considering whether to seek an Anton Piller order, as they are difficult to obtain and even more difficult to properly execute.

The third and final article in this series will focus on Mareva injunctions, which involve the freezing of the defendant’s assets at the beginning of the case to ensure that there are assets available to satisfy a judgment for the plaintiff, which may (or may not ever) be granted at the end of the case.

John Polyzogopoulos is a partner of Blaney McMurtry LLP and a member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Group. Copyright 2008 John Polyzogopoulos and Blaney McMurtry LLP. Reproduced with permission.

Source: http://csc.lexum.umontreal.ca/en/2006/2 ... scc36.html
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Postby admin » Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:04 pm

Former policeman arrested for refusal to testify at pedophile inquiry

Canwest News Service

Sunday, February 17, 2008

CREDIT: Debra Brash / Victoria Times Colonist
Perry Dunlop hugs his wife Helen before being taken into custody by Duncan RCMP.

DUNCAN, B.C. - Amid a bizarre, almost circus-like atmosphere, Duncan RCMP arrested former Cornwall, Ont., police officer Perry Dunlop Sunday as about 75 supporters looked on.

"You're our hero!" and "We love you Perry!" came shouts from the crowd as Dunlop walked arm-in-arm with his wife, Helen, to the squad car at the end of their driveway.

The RCMP were executing a Canada-wide warrant issued last month for Dunlop, 43, who has refused to testify into a Cornwall, Ont. sex-abuse inquiry.

After an hour-long rally, in which Perry and Helen Dunlop as well as their three daughters painted themselves as victims being persecuted for attempting to protect children from pedophiles, they called the RCMP, telling them Perry Dunlop was at home and inviting them to come and arrest him.

When police showed up to do exactly that, Perry Dunlop initially refused to go because the officers could not produce the arrest warrant, which they said they had left back at the detachment. The refusal was odd, given that photocopies of the warrant were passed out to Dunlop supporters as they showed up for the rally.

When two different officers showed up a second time with the paperwork, he agreed to go.

"I want everybody to witness what is going on. The whistleblower is being arrested on a Canada-wide warrant for protecting children," Helen Dunlop said through a microphone as RCMP served her husband with the warrant.

One of the officers explained to Perry Dunlop, as he had done earlier in the day when supporters and media were not present, that there was no need for him to be arrested. The officer said he would leave Dunlop alone if he voluntarily agreed to fly back to Ontario.

Dunlop refused. "I'm not voluntarily going back," he said.

An Ontario judge issued the warrant for Dunlop's arrest after he disobeyed a court order to appear before a public inquiry into sexual-abuse allegations that he helped to investigate as a police officer in the 1990s.

Because it was his investigation in 1993 that first uncovered allegations of child abuse by highly placed members of Cornwall society - including a priest, a lawyer and a Crown prosecutor - Dunlop's testimony is seen as key to the inquiry.

Dunlop maintains that when he first shed light on the allegations of abuse, there was a reluctance by anyone to act. He ultimately provided details of the case to the media and to the Children's Aid Society. That led to his being ostracized and forced out of the city force, he says. The stress led to an emotional breakdown.

He and his family moved to Duncan in 2000.

Years later, an Ontario Provincial Police investigation led to 15 people being charged with sex offences against children. One was jailed.

Dunlop says he's lost faith in the system.

"It's toxic. It's a toxic environment. They'll twist my words," he said Sunday.

"I've said that I will read my statement to the best of my ability - and they just want to tear me to pieces. I want the victims to tell their story."

Dunlop said at the inquiry he'll face an phalanx of lawyers.

"There's too may people being silent and they'll put these high-priced lawyers that are professional spin doctors, and they just pound and pound and pound. Most people can't stand one or two lawyers going at them. There (are) 70 lawyers in the inquiry."

© Victoria Times Colonist 2008
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Postby admin » Sun Feb 10, 2008 2:32 pm

Merck Whistleblower Wins $68M Award

Merck Whistleblower's Long, Lonely Path Wins Him $68 Million Award

By Maryclaire Dale, Associated Press Writer
Thursday February 7, 6:00 pm ET

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A sales manager who "just couldn't abide" by the way Merck wanted him to market the drugs Vioxx and Zocor to doctors took the lonely step of filing a whistleblower suit against his employer.
Seven years later, Merck & Co. will pay $671 million to settle complaints it overcharged government health programs and gave doctors improper inducements to prescribe its drugs.

And whistleblower H. Dean Steinke, the Michigan sales manager whose lawsuit led to about $400 million of the recovery, gets a $68 million reward.

"He did it because he really, truly thought that Merck was doing the wrong thing and he just couldn't abide by it, even though he was putting his career on hold," said Steinke's lawyer, Steven Cohen of Chicago. His small firm, which specializes in such cases, will receive an undisclosed share of the award.

Steinke, who through his lawyer declined an interview, had climbed the sales ladder at Merck for about 12 years and was a district sales manager when he filed the lawsuit. He made the move only after his internal complaints were ignored, Cohen said.

Steinke believed that Merck, as it introduced the much-anticipated painkiller Vioxx and tried to ward off competition for Zocor, an anti-cholesterol drug, had crossed the line when it came to inducements to physicians.

The government investigated his sealed lawsuit, which also alleged that Merck overcharged government health plans, under the Federal False Claims Act.

Prosecutors ultimately alleged that Merck paid physicians, hospitals and others excess fees to run supposed educational programs, from lunches to speaking engagements to visiting professorships, in hopes they would favor their products.

Prosecutors also accused Merck of giving doctors and hospitals steep volume-based discounts on Vioxx, Zocor and Pepcid, in the hope that patients would come to rely on them. The company failed to offer Medicare and other government agencies the same price, as required by law, they said.

"It's heroin-dealer economics. Your first shot of dope is free and then it's more expensive," said Pat Burns, a spokesman for the whistleblower group Taxpayers Against Fraud.

As part of the agreement, Merck denied any wrongdoing.

Steinke left Merck a month after he filed his lawsuit in December 2000 and went to work for a small pharmaceutical company that shared his values, Cohen said. He made repeated trips to Philadelphia to help government investigators.

"The whistleblower is stuck in a very lonely and isolated circumstance while the government's investigation is proceeding," Cohen said.

His award includes $44.7 million from federal agencies -- roughly 20 percent of the government's recovery -- and about $23.5 million from various states, Cohen said.

The remainder of the settlement announced Wednesday stems from a lawsuit filed by a New Orleans doctor, William St. John LaCorte. His award had not yet been determined.

Cohen described Steinke, who is married with no children, as a reserved man from "good midwestern stock."

He recently left his drug-company job.
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