OSC SEEKS STAY FOR WHISTLEBLOWER
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 6/12/98
CONTACT: JANE MCFARLAND
On June 11, the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) filed
a request for a stay of personnel action with the Merit Systems Protection
Board (MSPB) to extend the appointment of Martin E. Andersen, formerly a
Program Manager within the Criminal Division for the Department of Justice
(DOJ). MSPB has three business days to rule on this request. In the absence
of a formal MSPB ruling, the stay will become effective.
The Office of Special Counsel automatically has requested
a stay because its preliminary investigation revealed reasonable grounds to
conclude that Mr. Andersenís whistleblowing was a contributing factor in
DOJís decision not to renew his term appointment.
Mr. Andersen began working for the Department of Justice
In 1996, he received an outstanding performance
appraisal. According to the petition filed by the Office of Special Counsel,
in 1997 Mr. Andersen disclosed government waste, unlawful actions, and the
release of a highly classified CIA document to an uncleared government
contractor. As a result of his disclosures, DOJ conducted a security sweep,
which uncovered numerous security violations.
Shortly thereafter, according to OSCís petition, Mr.
Andersen was denied a security clearance and reassigned to other work. OSC
alleges that several months later, Mr. Andersen was informed that his
appointment with DOJ would not be extended and no reason was given for this
While Mr. Andersenís allegations are still under
investigation by the Office of Special Counsel, under the Whistleblower
Protection Act of 1989, OSC may seek a stay where there are reasonable
grounds to believe that personnel actions were taken based on whistleblowing.
Whistleblowing is defined as any disclosure of
information which an employee reasonably believes evidences a violation of
law, rule, regulation, gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse
of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or