FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
House Oversight Committee Asked to Investigate Corruption in Department of Labor
Washington, D.C. – January 24, 2017 – Tom Devine, Legal Director of the Government
Accountability Project, has asked the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to investigate corruption in the Department of Labor.
In a letter, dated Monday, January 23, 2017, Devine directed the Committee’s attention “to a series of disclosures filed by Dr. Darrell Whitman regarding systematic mismanagement,
violations of law and abuse of authority within OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program
(WBPP).” Whitman made these disclosures to the Office of Special Counsel, beginning in
November 2014 and filed a complaint with the OSC in May 2014.
Whitman was terminated in May 2015 after reporting “a culture of corruption to then Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, and in while publicly speaking out about corruption in the Program.
Following Whitman’s termination, OSHA purged Region IX of three other attorney/ investigators who had been complained for years about OSHA mismanagement and abuse.
Devine spoke with the Committee’s minority staff members in November 2016 to discuss the situation, and during the meeting the staff requested the documents. The documents submitted by GAP included Whitman’s 16-page OSC complaint, his 220-page sworn affidavit supported by 400 exhibits, and more than a dozen affidavits and statements from other WBPP investigators, union officials, and whistleblowers who were denied protection by OSHA.
The letter noted Whitman’s disclosures included; the mismanagement of complaints concerning the falsification of asbestos tests, violations of FAA regulations governing aircraft maintenance and flight operations, violations of NRC regulations intended to protect the safe operation of nuclear power plants, violations of DOT regulations concerning the transport of hazardous materials and drivers operating trucks on the nation’s highways, and the fraudulent management of customer accounts by Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase.
Whitman urged GAP to make the submissions after learning Secretary Perez’s had abandoned his promised review of OSHA’s role in the Wells Fargo fraud cases. Whitman, who had been ordered to close two of these cases in 2010 without an investigation, and who handled a third case in 2012 which languished for four years without action, argued the failure of the Program presents a significant threat to the public’s safety, health, and financial security that needs to be thoroughly investigated and corrected.
Contact: Tom Devine, Government Accountability Project
Dr. Darrell Whitman: email: firstname.lastname@example.org)