FBI Special Agent Faced Retaliation for Reporting to Senior Management
According to a report released by the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Inspector General (OIG), an FBI technician “suffered reprisal for making protected disclosures under the FBI Whistleblower Regulations.”
Specifically, the technician was accused of going outside of his chain of command and was improperly ordered to stop making complaints to FBI executive managers.
However, the OIG investigation found that the technician’s disclosures were protected disclosures under whistleblower regulations, that complaints against the technician were “unsubstantiated,” and that “clear and convincing evidence did not show that the FBI would have taken the same actions against the technician in the absence of his protected disclosures.” The investigation further found that “there were reasonable grounds to believe that the technician had suffered reprisal as a result of his protected disclosures.”
The technician who made disclosures to senior management faced denied promotions, denied temporary reassignments, multiple placements on “Absence Without Leave” status, and counseling on performance and leave use. Moreover, the technician was labeled an “insider threat” and was improperly referred to the FBI’s Inspection Division.
Though the OIG report notes that its finding “is not a final determination,” the body also states that the final adjudicating body on such matters – the Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management – “may order corrective action as a remedy for the whistleblower” and “may refer findings that particular officials engaged in retaliation to the FBI for consideration of whether discipline is warranted.”
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