Fox News carried an interview below with Greta Van Susteren and Representative and House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa, California. In it, Issa discusses the recently released video of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (AFT) Acting Director, B. Todd Jones’ “thinly veiled” threat to would be whistleblowers. Jones warns employees that if they do not “play by the rules of the road” (meaning they may not report wrongdoing outside the DOJ) follow the “chain of command” there will be “consequences.” watch?v=6Zf9GB5BDXI
It’s a troubling and disappointing message considering the entire reason Jones was brought in to the ATF, was to fix the cover-up of wrongdoing by high up officials in the chain of command that resulted in the murder of an agent, rocking the agency, in the “Fast and Furious” gun trafficking scandal. As we recall, back in 2011, Jones stated he was “excited” to rebuild agency morale. Not sure how you do that if you threaten employees. That’s not rebuilding. It’s intimidation and military view of employees as property, with zero rights.
Every federal employee takes an oath to protect the public interest, legally requiring them to report fraud, waste, abuse, mismanagement and specific dangers to public health and safety. The Jones message makes clear that anyone who breaks rank to report misconduct will be subject to discipline. We remind federal officials that employees of the government work for the people, not political appointees and/or federal service management who abuse their positions.
Any abuse of authority, violation of law and/or disclosure of wrongdoing is subject to review by the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), an independent federal investigative and prosecutorial agency, whose authorities derive from four federal statutes: the Civil Service Reform Act, the Whistleblower Protection Act, the Hatch Act, and the Uniformed Services Employment & Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). index.htm Department of Justice (DOJ) employees and former employees have the right to speak to OSC on any matter, including disclosures of wrongdoing.
Any former federal employee, current employee or applicant for federal service employment can make a disclosure of wrongdoing and learn more about their rights at OSC. Prohibited personnel practices (PPP) are found under § 2302(b) of title 5 of the United States Code (U.S.C.). To learn more about PPP’s, see OSC website. pppwhatare.htm
Issa commends whistleblowers who step forward to inform appropriate authorities of wrongdoing. Thank you Representative Issa and the OSC for protecting whistleblowers. issa.house.gov