OSC Seal

U.S. Office of Special Counsel

1730 M Street, N.W., Suite 300

Washington, D.C. 20036-4505

OSC SEEKS STAY FOR WHISTLEBLOWER


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 6/12/98
CONTACT: JANE MCFARLAND
(202) 653-7984      

    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 1993. 

    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 decision. 

    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 safety.

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