OSC Seal

U.S. Office of Special Counsel

1730 M Street, N.W., Suite 300

Washington, D.C. 20036-4505


(202) 653-7984      

    This week, the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) paid $30,000 in damages to Delores Velten, a government whistleblower, pursuant to a settlement agreement proposed by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC). 

    OSC formally requested the corrective action because its investigation of the DVA revealed substantial evidence that Ms. Veltenís whistleblowing was a contributing factor in personnel actions taken against her.

    Ms. Velten, a federal employee for more than 40 years, reported unlawful actions and government waste in procuring telephone systems at DVA facilities to her supervisors in 1990 and 1991. These disclosures led to an investigation by the DVAís Office of Inspector General which substantiated Ms. Veltenís allegations and resulted in counseling of management personnel.

    Shortly after the IG began its inquiry, Ms. Veltenís duties were systematically removed and she was left nearly idle for an eight month period. Ms. Velten was then reassigned to another division, her detail to another agency was proposed, and she was reassigned a second time.

    The OSC requested $30,000 for Ms. Velten because she had paid $5,000 in attorney fees and because she was unable to take advantage of a lump-sum buy out retirement option due to her last job reassignment. 

    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.