Accountability

Published — May 5, 2009 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Lawmakers ask Obama for whistleblower protection

Introduction

After years of executive branch hostility to whistleblowers, will President Barack Obama — himself a former whistleblower attorney — hire some of those conscientious employees back? Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York and six other members of Congress have asked Obama to consider doing so.

We “encourage you to take action to restore the careers of employees who were wrongly terminated or marginalized by previous administrations after blowing the whistle,” the April 30 letter says. The lawmakers are asking for an executive order that would create a program to review cases and restore the jobs of those who have been wronged. The letter also urges passage of new legislation to strengthen whistleblower protections.

Tom Devine, legislative director for the Government Accountability Project, told the Las Vegas Review Journal earlier this year that several Las Vegas-based federal air marshals are likely near the top of the list of whistleblowers with a shot at getting their jobs back. This includes Robert MacLean, a former air marshal, who exposed cuts in air marshal coverage of high-risk flights when there were intelligence warnings of a heightened hijacking threat.

The White House did not provide the Center with a comment, despite several phone and e-mail requests.

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