Wall Street Journal
Joseph Carson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
05 Apr 96 21:46:13 EST
Thank you for your many expression of support since this situation was
publicized in the ASA newsletter last summer. Faithfulness does not always
(or even often) have an "earthly" reward; but I think in this case there
will be positive recognition for my risks and sacrifices to be a faithful
and loyal public servant.
The Wall Street Journal is probably going to do a story about me. DOE
responds to publicity, that's for sure.
Ross Kerber is a reporter for the WSJ.
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Using the TIME story about Galatis and the NRC as a basis of comparison
(i.e. Galatis, utility engineer, determines utility is not operating
according to its NRC license, tries to work within system to correct
situation, is stymied, goes to NRC only to discover that NRC has been aware
of situation for many years and has do nothing about it) my story is much
more sinister. In a nutshell my story is:
Carson, essentially a combination OSHA and NRC inspector for DOE
(DOE is self-regulating in worker and nuclear safety and Carson is a field
inspector for DOE's Safety Oversight organization), voices concerns about
abuse of very lucrative support service contracts in his organization
(essentially these positions, paying $250,000 to $600,000 a year, were
similar to "no-show political patronage" positions where Carson's managers award
them to their close friends, solely assigned them work, solely reviewed
their work, etc).
His managers, in whistleblower reprisal for Carson's allegations, attempt to
fire him for cause (ie - being incompetent). To do this, they suppress a
number of the valid and significant safety deficiencies Carson has
identified and documented - thereby allowing DOE and DOE contractor workers
to continue to work in deficient conditions and permiting deficient
conditions to persist in valuable DOE facilities. (To Carson, these
managers, who have taken oaths to serve USA and who are responsible for
safety in DOE, a self-regulating Agency for safety, are akin to CIA mole
Aldrich Ames in their treachery.) Plausibly, several workplace deaths in
DOE may not have occurred had Carson's managers not been so treacherous in
taking reprisal against him.
Carson's allegations involve Dr. Tara O'Toole, DOE's Senate-Confirmed Assistant
Secretary for Environment, Safety, and Health and her Principal Deputy
Assistant Secretary, Peter Brush, the highest-ranking Civil Servant in DOE's
Carson fights like hell for over four years, spends over $30,000 of his own
money, uses over 3000 hours of personal time, and beats DOE to standstill
(he "prevailed" twice in whistleblower reprisal appeals to MSPB).
DOE continues to refuse to "do right thing" by Carson by honoring the terms
of his 2/25/94 MSPB Settlement Agreement, because by admitting fault, the
involved managers know they are opening themselves to criminal
investigation of bribery, kickbacks, etc in the contracts they have awarded
That's where my story is today. Now DOE wants about 300 billion over the
next 50 years to "remediate" its sites. What are the implications of my
story on this staggering cost? I think there are several:
o Whistleblower reprisal in DOE is alive and well and distorts everything
DOE does. Workers are afraid to voice safety concerns (I couldn't have so
many obvious safety defiencies in DOE otherwise and many, many workers have
told me this) for fear of reprisal. "A stitch in time saves nine" so to
speak and now DOE has to deal with situations that are much worse,
technically, than would have existed had there not been such a fear of
reprisal for voicing recognized safety concerns.
o DOE has made many people very rich, frequently as a direct result of
flagrant violations of satety rules - greed by managers was the root cause
of fear of reprisal in the workers. Now the same managers and companies, in
many cases, expect another "windfall" for correcting the situations they
were responsible for - literally like "paying the killer to find the body."
I think you have a story, Ross.