In an earlier post we wrote about why a federal worker might not want to report illegal behavior on the part of an employer. In that post we specifically discussed the fear of retaliation. Should this happen, it is possible a whistleblower could recover damages for reporting the illegal activity. An Army colonel believes this is happening to him.
The man, who was the director of operations for a taskforce, said he reported what he believed to be a lack of accountability within the $800 million task force. Specifically he claimed that in the course of building a gas station located in Afghanistan, $43 million was wasted.
He claimed that after making that report he was told that negative feedback regarding his job performance had been received. The alleged feedback the Army received resulted in a delay of his performance review. It also jeopardized his career. The negative review connected to his job performance while on the task force was the opposite of multiple other Officer Evaluation Reports he had received. In fact, those evaluations recommended the man for brigadier general.
An investigation was conducted into the issue with the gas station, following the colonel’s report. Rather than $43 million, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction found that the gas station should have cost around $500,000.
A senator recently shared this information in a letter to the Defense Secretary on behalf of the Army colonel. In it, he asserted the colonel was facing consequences for providing this information.
How this matter will be resolved remains to be seen. We will provide updates as they become available.