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Whistle Blower

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NEWS
May 2, 1989 | E.W. FAIRCLOTH/ DAILY NEWS
Mary Ann O'Connor puts her lips together and just blows while selling whistles in Center City yesterday to benefit Women's Way, an independent funding organization for women's services. The group has 50,000 $2 whistles to sell as symbols of "blowing the whistle on abuse of women and children," a spokeswoman for Women's Way said. O'Connor was at the corner of Broad and Chestnut streets.
NEWS
October 7, 2010
By Daniel K. Fitzpatrick No major scandals have rocked City Hall since Michael Nutter came into office and installed a strong ethics team, and City Council strengthened the campaign-finance ordinance and passed the city's first lobbying law. But claims of sexual harassment cover-ups, secret payouts, and conflicts of interest have dominated the local news lately. While insiders understand that the Philadelphia Housing Authority, the Delaware River Port Authority, and the Pennsylvania court system - the subjects of these stories - are not city agencies, most of the public doesn't distinguish among branches or levels of government when it comes to integrity.
NEWS
October 26, 2011
An Oklahoma man was sentenced to two years in prison for lying to Philadelphia-based antitrust officials about a price-fixing scheme by a former employer and other auto filter manufacturers, Zane David Memeger, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, said today. Two years after Champion Laboratories Inc. fired him in 2006 for falsifying travel vouchers, William G. Burch, 52, of Tulsa, filed a whistle-blower lawsuit against Champion and five competitors, alleging that they had conspired to fix prices.
NEWS
June 18, 2013
By Tobias Peter 'I ch bin ein Berliner . " Those were the famous words John F. Kennedy used to express solidarity with the people of Germany in June 1963, when he became the first U.S. president to visit the German capital after the Soviets divided it with the Berlin Wall. So what will President Obama tell the Germans when he speaks to them during his visit this week, nearly 50 years later? "People of Berlin, Germany, and Europe: I've been reading your e-mail"? If only half of what Edward Snowden has leaked about U.S. Internet surveillance is true, it will be a huge burden for transatlantic relations.
NEWS
March 22, 2011
Dear Harry: I work in the accounts-payable department of a manufacturing company in suburban Philadelphia. My brother (married with two kids) works in another department of the company. I discovered a theft scheme that is being operated by the owners where they split cash rebates from overbilling by two of our vendors. When I discussed this with my boss, he told me to keep quiet or my brother's job would be in jeopardy. My brother knows nothing about any of this. I guess the boss knows he can't fire me as a whistle-blower.
NEWS
August 3, 2012
NEWARK, N.J. - Jurors have awarded more than $1 million to a New Jersey state trooper who filed a whistle-blower lawsuit. The lawyer for retired Detective Sgt. 1st Class Brian Royster says that jurors in Essex County on Wednesday found that the State Police and Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes violated the act, which aims to protect those who speak out. Royster, who is black, filed suit in 2005. The 48-year-old claimed that cases pending with the Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action unit were stalled without reason and troopers accused of misconduct had been allowed to retire instead of being disciplined.
NEWS
March 6, 2012
FRANCIS X. Dougherty, who was fired as the school district's deputy chief business officer after an investigation into who leaked information about the awarding of a $7.5-million no-bid surveillance-camera project, has filed a federal lawsuit contending that he was fired for being a whistle-blower. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court, contends that he was dumped for telling the FBI, state officials and the Inquirer about his allegation that former Schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman improperly steered the contract to a minority firm in 2010, bypassing Security & Data Technologies Inc., which already had begun work on the project to install cameras in 19 city schools deemed dangerous.
BUSINESS
August 26, 2012 | By Andrew Tangel, Los Angeles Times
NEW YORK - They've called from pay phones. They've had furtive meetings at hotels and even a church. On internal government documents, they go by such code names as Mr. X. For the last year, whistle-blowers deep inside corporate America have been dishing dirt on their employers under a Securities and Exchange Commission program that could give them a cut of multimillion-dollar penalties won by financial regulators. A new bounty program has been an intel boon to the securities industry regulator, which has struggled to redeem itself after failing to stop Bernard Madoff's epic Ponzi scheme and rein in Wall Street before the 2008 financial crisis.
NEWS
August 22, 2013 | By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer
A former charter school administrator who alleged that she was wrongfully fired the day after the school was raided by federal agents has settled her whistle-blower suit. Court documents show that Adorable Harper reached a settlement with Community Academy of Philadelphia Charter School in Juniata Park this month. The terms were not disclosed. In the suit, filed in Common Pleas Court, Harper maintained that she was fired in August 2009 because she had lodged a complaint with the Inspector General's Office of the U.S. Department of Education detailing "a pattern of criminal misuse of local, state, and federal funds" at the school.
NEWS
June 15, 2012 | By WIlliam Bender, Daily News Staff Writer
OFFICER PAUL ZENAK thinks he's been asking too many questions. That's the only way he can make sense of it. Why else did Zenak — a decorated 21-year Philadelphia Police veteran and former Officer of the Year in his district — go from being what a sergeant described as an "outstanding" and "highly recommended" director of the Wissinoming Police Athletic League center to a cop with a tarnished reputation and two bizarre reprimands in his...
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NEWS
March 20, 2016 | By Martha Woodall, Staff Writer
The Philadelphia School Reform Commission has quietly settled one of four lawsuits stemming from a controversial $7.5 million no-bid camera contract backed by then-Superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman. With no advance notice and no public discussion, the SRC unanimously agreed Thursday to pay $725,000 to Francis X. Dougherty, a former top administrator who lost his job in 2011 after he revealed the no-bid deal to the Inquirer. Dougherty sued the district, and last year, a federal jury found that he had been wrongfully suspended and fired for disclosing the contract to provide surveillance cameras in troubled schools.
NEWS
February 9, 2016 | By Martha Woodall, Staff Writer
A federal whistle-blower suit claims an elementary principal at the Franklin Towne Charter School in Bridesburg was hired under false pretenses and then terminated after he raised serious concerns about its operations. Todd A. Dupell alleges that he was wrongfully dismissed as principal last August after he complained to the board chair that the charter was billing the Philadelphia School District for full-day kindergarten even though the program was not full day; the charter was awash in nepotism; and the school was paying the wife of a former board member $80,000 for a nonexistent job because otherwise her husband could "make noise.
NEWS
January 5, 2016 | By Martha Woodall, Staff Writer
Five years after revelations surfaced about a massive no-bid contract - and after nearly $2 million in legal fees - the Philadelphia School District is poised to settle a federal lawsuit with the man who blew the whistle. The School Reform Commission is expected to vote this month on ending a lawsuit by a former top administrator who federal jurors found had been wrongfully suspended and fired for telling The Inquirer about a $7.5 million no-bid contract for security cameras. The district's law department will ask the SRC to pay Francis X. Dougherty, a former acting chief of operations, $725,000 to settle his federal claims and cover part of his lost wages and legal bills, according to a draft resolution obtained by The Inquirer.
BUSINESS
November 25, 2015 | By Joseph N. Distefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mutual-fund giant Vanguard Group will pay several million dollars in back taxes to Texas, marking the first payout linked to a whistle-blower's contention that the company has underpaid its income taxes. The Texas comptroller of public accounts found a payment "deficiency" from 2010 to 2014 when it audited Vanguard's payments of the 1 percent corporate franchise tax, state records show. Texas last month also agreed to pay $117,000 to David Danon, a former Vanguard tax attorney, for his role in helping bring the violations to light.
BUSINESS
November 19, 2015 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
A New York State Supreme Court justice has ruled that a former Vanguard Group tax lawyer cannot expect to collect a whistle-blower's cut of potential back state taxes owed by the mutual-fund giant because he was employed by Vanguard at the time he secretly filed the complaint. David Danon's state whistle-blower complaint, filed in 2013 and made public a year later, "must be dismissed" and cannot be refiled because Danon violated New York state legal-ethics rules when he and his lawyers brought the suit while he was still working at Vanguard and "in a position to obtain confidential information" against his employer, Supreme Court Justice Joan Madden wrote in her opinion, dated Nov. 13. In New York state, the Supreme Court is the highest trial-level court.
NEWS
November 5, 2015 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
A former administrator for Camden's LEAP Academy University Charter School says he was fired after he reported seeing a student bullied by the school's chef - a staff member who is the boyfriend of the school's founder and chairwoman, Gloria Bonilla-Santiago. Devon Worster, formerly an athletic director and vice principal at LEAP, has filed a whistle-blower lawsuit in Superior Court in Camden County alleging that he witnessed executive Michele Pastorello "bully, harass, and intimidate" a minor student in April and reported it to the administration.
NEWS
July 23, 2015 | By Susan Snyder, Inquirer Staff Writer
West Chester University, in court papers this week, called "nonsensical" claims by its former chief budgeting officer that the school falsely reported deficits to the state to get more funding and fired her after she spoke up about it. Both West Chester and its parent, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, have years of audited financial statements that show no funds were misused or wasted as alleged by Colleen M. Bradley, according to...
NEWS
July 12, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on Friday notified at least eight employees at the embattled Philadelphia VA benefits office that it plans to fire or suspend them - a penalty that appears to be unprecedented in the nearly two years since the agency came under scrutiny for mismanagement and misconduct. The proposed punishments against employees involved in manipulating claims to hide the office's backlog range from a two-week suspension to removal, the VA said in a memo to members of Congress.
NEWS
May 22, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
The Philadelphia School District's latest defeat in its wildly disproportionate war on a whistle-blower should be its last. But even after a judge ordered the perpetually broke school system to pay damages to the former administrator, a lawyer for the district vowed to continue its quixotic and costly defense of its attack on free speech and the press. Federal Judge Juan R. Sánchez this week ordered the district and former officials to pay Francis X. Dougherty more than $300,000, an estimate of the earnings he lost after being fired for speaking to The Inquirer and authorities about an inappropriately awarded contract.
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