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Whistleblower, Vermont Settle Retaliation Case

A case of alleged whistleblower retaliation involving a former Vermont state employee who claimed she was wrongfully fired for speaking out against contract corruption has been settled. The Burlington Free Press reports that Jacqui Carlomagno, a former grants administrator for Vermont’s Agency of Education, sued the State after she was fired in June 2015 for calling attention to the alleged abuse of federal education funds. Ms. Carlomagno claims the state fired her because of her whistleblower activity. Ms. Carlomagno’s allegations centered on the education agency’s handling of federally funded early childhood education grants. In her whistleblower lawsuit, she alleged that ... Read More

Whistleblower Retaliation Lawsuit names Wells Fargo VP As Defendant

The former chief executive of a banking trade group of asset-backed lenders is suing the group and Wells Fargo Bank, alleging he was fired in retaliation for voicing concerns over undisclosed conflicts of interest between the group’s auditing firm and group members. Robert Trojan, the former head of the Commercial Finance Association (CFA), which represents banks that make loans to companies backed by assets and accounts receivables, says he found that the CFA’s auditor, Freed Maxick, had undisclosed business relationships with the group’ members and directors and thus wasn’t fully independent. An auditor’s lack of independence effectively meant that the ... Read More

Whistleblower Claims Retaliation Ended His National Guard Career

A California National Guard Major who spoke out against wasteful and illegal spending and mismanagement in the Army reserve is fighting to overturn what he alleges were career-killing performance reviews, handed down to him in retaliation for blowing the whistle. Retired Maj. Joseph Lovelace, who was on track to become a lieutenant colonel after his Iraq deployment, spoke to the Sacramento Bee about severely poor conditions at Camp Roberts near Paso Robles, California, an Army outpost where old buildings fell into a state of disrepair and decay, sewage bubbled up through showers, and materials bought to repair the facilities sat ... Read More

Diet drug Contrave linked to cases of loss of consciousness, abuse

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are looking into cases of loss of consciousness and abuse identified during a postmarketing review with the anti-obesity drug Contrave. Contrave was approved by the FDA September 2014. It is a combination of the alcohol and opioid dependence treatment naltrexone hydrochloride and the antidepressant bupropion hydrochloride. Contrave is intended as a treatment option for chronic weight management in obese patients (those with a BMI of 30 or greater) or overweight patients (those with a BMI of 27 or greater) who have at least one weight-related condition such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, ... Read More

Montana Legislators Consider Tougher Whistleblower Protections for State Employees

Two bills proposing better whistleblower protections for public workers who speak out against fraud, waste, and abuse with state agencies passed the Montana House last week. According to the Associated Press, one of the bills would prohibit state agencies and programs from retaliating against a public employee who blows the whistle on misconduct. The other would allow the public employee to file a civil lawsuit against a supervisor who attempts to obstruct the whistleblower’s efforts to communicate “a matter of public concern” with a state legislator. The original version of the bills would have made whistleblower retaliation and obstruction criminal ... Read More

Justice Department Funding Elder Abuse Prevention Research

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), a research and development agency of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), has awarded $800,000 to the Urban Institute and the University of Southern California (USC) to develop and test programs that could help combat elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. The Justice Department said the awards, which are also supported by its Elder Justice Initiative, will further the NIJ’s understanding of elder abuse and its ability to address it more effectively. The funds will help researchers identify solutions to the mistreatment of the elderly and evaluate their effectiveness in prevention, detection, and intervention. ... Read More

Senators Seek To Expand U.S. Energy Department Whistleblower Protections

Three U.S. Senators introduced legislation Monday that boosts whistleblower protections for U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) employees. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. called for expanded whistleblower protections after a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report documented a culture of intimidation and retaliation against employees within the DOE. Currently, DOE whistleblower protections are restricted to the disclosure of safety violations only. The proposed bill would add disclosures about waste, fraud, and abuse to the list of protected whistleblower activities within the agency. The bill would also require DOE contractors to pay the legal and administrative costs in ... Read More

Cop’s False Claims Act Lawsuit Could Have Ripple Throughout Law Enforcement

The U.S. Justice Department has called on the federal court in Boston to reconsider a False Claims Act lawsuit filed against the Brockton, Mass., Police Department by a police detective who alleges he was fired in retaliation for assisting someone who was falsely arrested. Former homicide detective Ken Williams, who has been with the Brockton Police Department for 15 years, filed the lawsuit under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act in 2012. The Justice Department investigated Mr. Williams’ allegations but declined to intervene. The lawsuit was then unsealed and a federal judge dismissed some of its key allegations. ... Read More

Richmond, Calif., Pays Whistleblower $104,000 To Settle Retaliation Complaint

A finance manager for the City of Richmond, Calif., who filed a whistleblower lawsuit alleging she was retaliated against for voicing complaints about theft and misuse of city money and finances and other misconduct has settled with the city for $104,000. Stacie Plummer has worked for the City of Richmond for nearly three decades. She filed the whistleblower complaint in 2014 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, claiming the City, City Manager Bill Lindsay, and Assistant City Manager/Human Resources Director Leslie Knight “systematically and forcefully retaliated against her” by denying her promotions, docking her pay, transferring ... Read More

Pennsylvania Nursing Home Sued After Nursing Aides Assault Dementia Patient

SCRANTON, Penn. – A Pennsylvania man is suing a Scranton nursing home, alleging the facility took no action after two nursing aides assaulted his mother, leaving her with extensive bruising on her face and upper body. According to The (Scranton) Times-Tribune, Thomas Drewes filed the complaint Wednesday, Jan. 6, in Lackawanna County Court against the Gardens of Green Ridge assisted living facility and its parent company, Saber Healthcare Group LLC. Mr. Drewes filed the lawsuit on behalf of his mother, Joan Drewes, who was a resident of Gardens of Green Ridge when the assault, captured on video surveillance, took place ... Read More