Joseph Carson (73530.2350@CompuServe.COM)
11 Jun 97 19:13:34 EDT
Dear Colleagues in ASA,
A number of you have held this situation up in prayer in past few years.
Recently, I was contacted by the White House. My situation has been
assigned to a small office in the White House that can use the authority of
the President to try to help facilitate/expedite/follow-up a proper
resolution to my long-standing allegations.
My situation illustrates the tensions that can exist as we balance our roles
as Christians, members of a profession, and, generally, employees, when we
encounter unscrupulous activity in our place of employment. We need to be
here for each other when this happens, with practical support as well as
prayer and moral support - our society as it becomes more technological
becomes more powerful while, paradoxically, more fragile - witness one
undistinquished person killing 168 people and doing 1 billion in damages
with a bomb made for readily available substances.
If we won't risk being ethical, competent and accountable in our professions
in our employment, who should?
To: Interested Parties
From: Joseph Carson, P.E., <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Request for support
Date: June 9, 1997
Attached is a letter from my attorney, Mr. Bob Seldon, to the
Department of Energy (DOE) attorney, Mr. Isiah Smith, who
represents DOE against my MSPB appeals, that outlines a process
to resolve my long-standing allegations of whistleblower reprisal
in the Department of Energy.
Meaning of Acronyms:
OSC is the US Office of Special Counsel
MSPB is the US Merit System Protection Board
DOE is the Department of Energy <http://www.doe.gov>
OHA is DOE's Office of Hearing and Appeals
Under the provisions of the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989
(WPA), a federal employee who alleges reprisal for making a
"protected disclosure" about reasonably evidenced allegations
wrongdoing in his/her Agency, files a complaint with OSC. If OSC
closes the case without seeking corrective action or has not
completed its handling of the case within 120 days, the employee
may then file an appeal with MSPB. I made my initial protected
disclosure in late 1991, I allege near-continual reprisal since.
I have "prevailed" in my two separate MSPB appeals (I have a
third one before MSPB), and MSPB recently ruled DOE in
*Noncompliance* with the 2/94 MSPB settlement agreement that used
as a basis for dismissing my initial MSPB appeal. DOE has or
will pay about $100,000 for my attorney fees and costs as a
result of my "prevailing" in all my appeals/petitions to date to
I have spent well over 3500 hours of personal time in the past
five years confronting DOE's lawlessness and unaccountability in
this matter. The stakes in this matter are quite high. DOE
estimates the environmental remediation costs for its sites at
about 250 billion dollars, the biggest such public works project
in history. DOE's history of reprisal against ethical and
competent employees in DOE and DOE contractor organizations for
voicing concerns about deficient safety and environmental
practices is a major factor in this stupendous cost as many of
the difficult (meaning very expensive) technical challenges DOE
now faces would not have occurred or have been allowed to
deteriorate so long, if DOE and DOE contractors employees did not
have to reasonably fear for their careers to voice well-evidenced
concerns about environmental, safety and health (ES&H) issues.
But the stakes in this matter could be *supremely* high. All the
individuals involved in my allegations have very sensitive "Q"
security clearances, allowing them access to classified
information and weapons material. Some involved individuals have
vital responsibilities in DOE's Safeguards and Security Program
for the hundreds of nuclear weapons and hundreds of tons of
nuclear weapon material under DOE's sole custody.
I think it more than plausible that the reprisal I have
experienced has contributed to workplace fatalities, injuries,
and property loss incidents in DOE. I have striven to do my
duty, consistent with the "Code of Ethics for Engineers" and the
"Code of Ethics for Federal Service," as an ethical and competent
Professional Engineer (P.E.) and a loyal and efficient public
servant, in very arduous circumstances, assuming large costs and
risks for me, my wife and my three young children. I have
nothing, absolutely nothing, to hide about any aspect of my
motives and actions in this matter. I have earnestly sought the
forums provided by the law to resolve it. I am grateful to the
God who created this world that I have been used to confront
institutional evil in DOE.
I have, during the past five years, contacted a number of public
officials as well as individuals in my faith and/or professional
communities. I am now reaching out to them again to ask that
they express their interest to the senior officials in DOE that
it agree to a process that will result in an objective,
comprehensive, expeditious, efficient and final resolution to my
allegations. Mr. Seldon's letter outlines such a process.
I respectfully request you to do the following:
1. Distribute this to whomever else might be interested.
2. Contact DOE to express your interest in seeing my situation
I ask that you send a short email note, just the phrase "I am
interested in seeing a timely resolution to Joe Carson's
allegations" would be sufficient, to Secretary of Energy Federico
Pena at <Federico.F.Pena@hq.doe.gov> fax (202) 586-4403. Please
copy me with your email note. Another DOE official you can copy
or contact is DOE's Employee Concerns Manager, Mr. Bill Lewis at
<email@example.com> fax 202/586-6530.
I have realistically risked my career to be a patriot in DOE, but
in many other parts of the world, to "blow the whistle" is to
court much greater dangers. America is still the greatest
Country on earth, despite, and in a sense because of, this
situation, it has been very good to me. But for America to
remain a beacon to the rest of a tired and fearful world,
Americans must follow the beacon, in their individual
circumstances, of "liberty in law." Thank you for your
consideration of this matter.
Government Accountability Project
1612 K Street, N.W. . Suite 1102
Washington, DC 20006
202-408-0034 . fax: 202-408-9855
Email: <firstname.lastname@example.org> . Website:
June 9, 1997
Isiah Smith, Jr., Esq.
U.S. Department of Energy
Office of the General Counsel
1000 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20585
Re: Carson v. Department Of Energy
Thank you for taking my call on Friday.
As I mentioned, the rules of exhaustion of administrative
remedies before OSC and the MSPB are working to the disadvantage
of everyone because they require Mr. Carson to proceed separately
with each incident of retaliation that he alleges. As a result,
the agency is continually preparing new agency files, responding
to interrogatories and requests for production of documents. We,
in turn, are forced to partition one unified case into small
pieces, in which presentation of background material is perhaps
the largest task.
This piecemeal process is also preventing both parties from
reaching closure over Mr. Carson's claims. It is Mr. Carson's
firm belief that the agency has engaged in a continuous course of
retaliation against him since he first disclosed support services
contractor abuses shortly after joining the agency. Judging by
your recent comments and those made earlier by Phyllis Hanfling,
the agency takes a very different view of these matters, to the
point of disputing that Mr. Carson has ever prevailed in his
prior to IRA appeals and the recent enforcement proceeding.
Quite obviously, despite the number of times that the parties
have been before OSC and the MSPB, they are no closer today to
resolving their dispute than they were several years ago.
For these reasons, I am of the opinion that until the parties can
proceed in an adjudicative forum that has jurisdiction over and
will decide all of their claims, there is no likelihood that
Carson v. DOE will ever be resolved definitively.
That body cannot, however, be the MSPB, because its jurisdiction
is tightly circumscribed and the board will not voluntarily hear
a case that it could otherwise dismiss. Within DOE, however,
there is an adjudicative body that would be capable of deciding
the parties' dispute once and for all, the body which the agency
itself has decided to rely upon in deciding the issues
outstanding from Mr. Carson's 1994 Settlement Agreement - the DOE
Office of Hearings and Appeals.
OHA already has the charter, expertise, and personnel needed to
resolve this dispute once and for all. Its Hearing Examiners are
highly trained in the adjudication of whistleblower claims and
are not so overwhelmed with casework that they are unable to give
a case like this one the attention that it deserves. Further, it
is my understanding that OHA either has jurisdiction over cases
like this one or could be delegated jurisdiction upon direction
of an agency official such as Bill Lewis or Phyllis Hanfling.
In short, OHA is an available and advantageous forum for
resolving the continuing and outstanding issues in Carson v. DOE.
I hope that you and Glenn Podonsky and Neal Goldenberg will give
serious thought to participating in a process that can fully
resolve the parties' dispute once and for all. Otherwise, there
will surely be many more MSPB proceedings to come.
Very truly yours,
Robert C. Seldon
cc: Joseph P. Carson
To repeat the email addresses:
Secretary of Energy Federico Pena <Federico.F.Pena@hq.doe.gov>
Bill Lewis, Employee Concerns Manager <email@example.com>
Joe Carson <firstname.lastname@example.org>; fax 423-966-1675
My October 1996 "Open Letter" to-then Secretary of Energy Hazel