U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) recently introduced a bill that would provide greater protections to whistleblowers against suspension, denial or revocation of security clearances as a form of retaliation for blowing the whistle on fraud, abuse and waste.
It has been an all-too-common practice in Washington to use denial of security clearances as a punishment for blowing the whistle. Until now, it has gone largely unpunished. This bill would change that.
Background of the bill
The bill is called the “Adam S. Lovinger Whistleblower Reprisal Act of 2018,” named for a mistreated government employee at the Pentagon. Lovinger had been on a detail with the National Security Council (NSC), and noticed more than a million dollars in contract payments going to two individuals. He could not find any deliverables justifying these payments, so brought up his concerns with his superiors in the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, a think tank organization.
As a result, he was recalled from his NSC assignment, despite an outstanding performance record. In March, his Top Secret security clearance was revoked, which left him unable to perform his duties. Finally, Washington Headquarters Services placed him on administrative leave, where he has been since April.
Whistleblower protections have received a lot of bipartisan support in congress, one of the few issues to bring lawmakers from both sides of the aisle together. In this particular case, the new legislation would end a practice that had slipped by most of the other whistleblower protections that had been introduced in the federal government so far, giving employers and agencies one less tool to use against employees who report internal wrongdoing.
If you have information about wrongdoing and would like to file a report, contact an experienced attorney with Kardell Law Group.