Q & A Session – Appropriate Venue for Exposing Unethical Behavior


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


What is the most appropriate venue for exposing unethical practices and illegal behavior by management in a federal agency, particularly when it appears to be wide-spread and ultimately increases agency costs for arbitration and other legal liabilities?


Every once in a while an agency official’s unethical and illegal behavior is confirmed and exposed by an Inspector General’s office. This is the best venue for exposing what you have described and, at least in theory, could lead to disciplinary action.

Unfortunately, there is no other effective remedy and even a favorable IG report will not give damages to you. The administrator’s action, even if baseless and malicious, appear to be within the scope of employment and thus immune from a lawsuit.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.

Disclaimer: Ask a Lawyer publishes information on this website for informational purposes only. Information on this website is intended – but not promised, guaranteed, or warranted – to reflect correct, complete and current developments. In addition, the contents of the website do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the attorney. Information from this website is not intended to be used as a substitute for specific legal advice, nor should you consider it as such. You should not act, or refrain from acting, based on information on this website without seeking specific legal advice about your particular circumstances. No attorney-client relationship between you and Ask a Lawyer’s author is created by the transmission of information to or from this site.


About Author

Debra Roth

Debra L. Roth is a partner at the law firm Shaw Bransford & Roth, a federal employment law firm in Washington, D.C. She is general counsel to the Senior Executives Association and the Federal Managers Association, host of the “FEDtalk” program on Federal News Radio, and a regular contributor to Federal News Radio’s “Federal Drive” morning show. Email your legal questions to lawyer@federaltimes.com.

1 Comment

  1. I reported corrupt and demeaning behaviour of members of management. There was an investigation that confirm my allegations and nothing was done to the perpetrators.

    All becuase members of management prefer to keep their heads inside the sand.

    I found out the best way to do this is to expose it to DoD IG specially when also includes larceny of government resources and the management supervisor being unqualified for the position.

    Never give up the fight for equality and for treatment of employees with dignity and respect.

    The perpetrators conducting un professional and un ethical conduct need to be removed from federal service.

    I took my complaint all the way to the Secretary of Defense!!!

    It is our country and thre is no room in federal service for unethical and unqualified employees conducting themselves like they were formen telling the employees “who gave you permision to move of your desk when the employee is going to lunch. We are not in Kindergarden we are federal professional employees.


Leave A Reply