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Whistleblowers Imperative for Rooting Out Fraud and Waste in Companies, Agencies

Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John D. Minton recently said, “Transparency and accountability are bedrock principles in maintaining trust in state government.” It is a nod to the importance of whistleblowers, particularly when it comes to discovering incidents of fraud or waste in government agencies or private corporations.

This new policy of transparency, issued some 30 years after the Kentucky legislature enacted open records laws, overturns years of an element of secrecy when it came to how the Administrative Office of the Courts operated. What remains to be seen is whether this new policy will help address the fraud and mismanagement that has led to millions of taxpayer dollars being wasted in a time of fiscal crisis in the state.

The catalyst for this new guidance could very well have been a whistleblower lawsuit filed by former government employee Scott Brown, who worked at the Administrative Office of Courts for more than 17 years. Despite Mr. Brown’s flawless employment records, his supervisors plotted to delegitimize him after he began reporting on waste, fraud and mismanagement in 2014. They ultimately did so under the guise of punishing him for purchasing a used vehicle from the Administrative Office of Courts, much as many other employees had done, and reported that purchase to the Attorney General’s office for criminal investigation.

Mr. Brown filed a lawsuit for whistleblower retaliation and eventually succeeded, but the case shone a light on just how far Kentucky had to go when it came to transparency about spending on a statewide level.

Employees protected against retaliation

There are plenty of skeptics in Kentucky related to the recent court guidance issued by Chief Justice Minton, but it is at least an encouraging step forward. Whistleblowers have federal protections afforded to them, which allow them to be compensated if they become victims of employer retaliation.

For more information on how to proceed with your whistleblower retaliation case, consult an experienced Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers.

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  • "Never thought my career would end like it did after 30 years of service. I was part of the first round of the so called reduction of force. I asked myself how can I be part of this with 30 years of seniority. How did they pick these 90 plus employees? Now, the culture of this organization made you question every decision they made. It wasn’t what you knew it’s was a culture of who you know. Nonetheless, I did not accept their severance package. I immediately starting looking for an attorney who would take on my case. After the initial call to Steve I had hope again. He was open and honest about everything and reassured me he would do his best for me, and he did. I had an awesome outcome. Thanks Steve you’re the best."  -S.S.

  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

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