GAP Legal Director Tom Devine '80 Quoted in Government Executive on TSA Whistleblower Case
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Posted by: Max Rodriguez
Tom Devine, Government Accountability Project Legal Director and '80 alum, is quoted in Government Executive on a TSA whistleblower case.
From Government Executive: "After going to his supervisor and the Homeland Security Department inspector general’s office without results, MacLean approached an MSNBC reporter and expressed not-for-attribution alarm that air marshal coverage of U.S. flights was being reduced at a time of heightened threat. After a three-year probe of the anonymous leak, TSA fired him, and his cause was taken up by whistleblower organizations such as the Government Accountability Project and the Project on Government Oversight.
Tom Devine, legal director for the Government Accountability Project, which filed MacLean’s appeal, told Government Executive his team went to court over "one of whistleblowers’ core principles, that statutory rights prevail over agency rules.”
During the first 30 years of statutory whistleblower rights, MacLean’s
"termination would have been crudely illegal,” Devine wrote in a recent
blog post. "Federal workers have the right to directly warn the public
about government actions threatening public health and safety, unless
the information is classified or its release specifically prohibited by
congressional statute.” In MacLean’s case, he wrote, MSPB "erased that
basic premise and now an agency can cancel WPA free speech rights by
banning public disclosures about its own misconduct.”
Devine said the stakes in the case are "unsurpassed by any
whistleblower dispute of recent years- not just for whistleblower
decisions, but for public safety as well.”"
Read the full article in Government Executive, "Three House members take up TSA whistleblower's cause"