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.
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