‘Whistleblower At The Impeachment Enquiry’
(17 Nov 2019)
Lemme share that I can relate to this past week’s Impeachment Enquiry witnesses – I had a relative nub of experiences as a federal government Whistleblower against the Forest Service during the mid-1980s somewhat comparable with these witnesses. Allow me to share what happened.
As with life, finding the specific start to one particular set of events is complicated. Allow me to meld my life and my Forest Service experiences into my eventual Whistleblowing as a federal government employee and add my touch with the American Foreign Service.
I worked as a civilian under delegated temporary appointment authority of the Department of the Army during 1977 and 1978. I was employed as Nick and presented male. I changed my Social Security Administration file from Nick / male to Sharon / female in August 1978 while still employed at the military base. Likely, Army did not care about my SSA change nor the eventual discrepancy report. Remember Linda and our Directorate’s welcome for her.
Forest Service hired me effective December 1978; their appointment register from the federal Civil Service Administration identified me as Nick. By January 1979, SSA’s first discrepancy report hit that Forest’s Personnel Office. There I was – employed as Nick / male but SSA reported back to the Forest Service that the person with my SSA Number is Sharon / female.
I returned to work early from lunch one day in January 1979, apparently this was after the Personnel Officer received that SSA discrepancy report and saw my entry there. I was the only Personnel Office employee back to the office. I overheard my supervisor Edie talking about me by name with Nancy, the supervisor for the Forest’s clerical pool. Then:
– ‘He’s a she!’
– ‘NO! She’s a he!’
I was toast from that moment. After work at the Forest that day was my shift at the radio station. I used my interlude time to type a memo to Edie explaining my Transition in case she decided to do anything against me. I brought it to work every day in the event that I needed it.
This was also about the same time in January as my request for Sick Leave to attend a medical appointment – that was my first medical appointment in 1979 – he was the Family Practice doctor who referred me to the Internist who would later begin my Diethylstilbestrol, that Internist had first arranged for me to attend counselling with the program at the county health department.
What was Edie thinking? My SSA file? My request for Sick Leave to attend to my medical appointment? ‘He’s a she!’?
I endured a continuous stream of hateful insults from Forest co-workers during the nearly two years when I worked there at that first Forest Service location. Frequently, the offending co-workers were bold enough to say things to my face with agency management present and observing (while doing nothing to protect me).
I applied for a variety of promotional opportunities that developed during the Summer of 1980 – Forest Service and other federal agencies. I managed to obtain a promotion to a different Forest Service office effective October 1980. I suppose that I may never know whether Edie pulled strings to get rid of me, or whether I really did earn my promotion that took me to Utah.
Gossip and harassment followed me to Utah. Bob was my first supervisor there at that Forest Service office. I thought nothing of him – his orientation – due to my ignorance. Looking back and using stereotype, I now ponder that Bob was Gay, he sensed something about me, and tried to protect me; at least to say, office gossip was suppressed until his departure when he promoted to another Forest in December 1980.
Dunno what it was that triggered it – the talk among a handful of my co-workers at the new location soon after became quite open discussing that someone at the office working as a man is really a woman. They snickered at me whenever I was around, they whispered as I walked passed any of them.
Blanche, my second supervisor who arrived February 1981, eventually came out with the official Forest Service accusation and charges:
– ‘We know a woman is working as a man and we just can’t have that here. It’s you.’
Blanche began taking termination action against me by May 1983 – timed before her retirement.
I began devising my own defence because I could not obtain any legal representation to guide me through this.
One angle was to expose a list of mis-management that led to corrupt practices at our Forest Service office. Our Director engaged in illegal personnel practices using Reagan’s Grace Commission privatisation schemes to circumvent federal Civil Service personnel laws, rules, and regulations. He operated the revolving door of hiring his cronies at inflated salaries and benefits while hiring rank-and-file employees at substandard provisions – he subverted the Law.
I, a scared young 20-something, sat silent about this, uncertain what to do without legal advice. In comparison, Blanche remained in her complicity with the offending management, not eager to upset her approaching retirement with the very authority who gave that Personnel Officer position to her. Perhaps, at some point assessing the circumstances, the Forest Service Director effectively bribed Blanche with her job on condition of her silence.
There was Blanche, after all, who owed her well being to both our Director and the Director of Aerial Photography Field Office, her prior employing USDA agency. She had been a GS-5 secretary for maybe 10 years. Our two directors decided to gift a promotion to her to boost her approaching federal government employee retirement that is based upon last income. Secretaries at grade GS-5 with no other education and experience don’t promote, can’t promote to GS-9/11 Personnel Officer.
I had no animosity against Blanche despite her antipathies towards me. Nor was I eager to get involved in her personnel matters; the onus on that fell to the Washington Office authority who went along with the fraud, perhaps created the fraud.
I felt that I had nothing to lose when I let it all out publicly.
My position was purely non-partisan. Yes, I am a Green. But – I have no idea what ever were the specific political positions of the individual federal officers whom I would expose. What I had to report was evidence of wrong-doings – maybe criminal.
I first reported these issues to Jim McNulty, my Congressional Representative. He held hearings and called both the Secretary of Agriculture and the Chief of the Forest Service to testify; those federal government managers were caught committing Perjury.
I also reported the corruption to Office of Personnel Management and to the Management Systems Protection Bureau.
Both federal agencies failed their mandate – both did little to come to my aid.
There is talk about exposing the identity of the current Whistleblower. Republi-cons have been whining that this current Whistleblower must testify in public. Supposedly, current OPM and MSPB Whistleblower laws protect the Whistleblower’s identity. Not in my time. They required me to reveal my identity in order to file my Whistleblower Action. Secrecy would have made little difference in my case – I was the only federal employee who could have possibly known what I knew to report what I observed.
There I was – an unexpected Whistleblower.
Certainly, my experience four decades ago would in no way become as nationally critical as the Whistleblowers and these first witnesses this past week; the pressure against me was extremely intimidating, just the same.
The agency did what they could to intimidate and harass me throughout the months leading to my appearance at Discovery; to intimidate me to try keeping me from future events. The Forest Service demoted me from Personnel Specialist to Clerk Typist as their retaliation against me.
I fought that and won an interim peace – they returned me to a previous position title that I held earlier: Personnel Assistant.
Then came the Trial when I gave my sworn testimony.
There I sat in the witness chair. Nervous. My credibility was on the line. Wanting to speak my words carefully, to address the issue with caution, to not exaggerate about the situation, I described the greater violations of federal laws and the evasion of USDA and Forest Service rules and regulations.
I added the elements of rampant workplace favouritism. You see, this Forest Service office was moved geographically from suburban Washington to suburban Salt Lake City a few years before I arrived; the employees who transferred from the Washington Office with that move were virulently anti-Mormon and angered for being forced to move cross-country from Virginia to Utah. Those managers and supervisors routinely denied promotion opportunities to Mormons and mocked them as retaliation against them.
More Forest Service retaliation against me followed – punishment for having the moxie testifying against agency management and exposing their corruption. They moved me to a lesser job title classification: Personnel Clerk.
Ultimately, I resigned from the Forest Service. My claim at Unemployment Insurance sustained my contentions. UI ruled that the Forest Service engaged in six years of a ‘hostile work environment’ against me.
Epilogue. The Supreme Court ruled against Reagan, against the Grace Commission, against federal agency management that implemented it. No, this was not my case that went to the Supreme Court. No matter – it was vindication for me from the US Supreme Court that upheld my legal position against Forest Service as the agency and the innumerable managers and supervisors who sought to discredit me, though that ruling came too late to keep my federal government tenure.
We small potatoes get smashed every time – I lost my federal government career, my benefits as a federal government employee, my retirement as a federal government employee. Of course, nothing ever happened to discipline the real offenders: the USDA Secretary, the Chief of the Forest Service, the agency Director, the Administrative Officer, the Finance Officer among them.
Meanwhile, Blanche enjoyed her retirement windfall after having done her deed to destroy my Forest Service federal government career.
Now about the Foreign Service. Lemme tell you about the Foreign Service, how I can connect my Forest Service employment with it, and how it brings it to current House of Representatives testimony during this Impeachment Enquiry.
I do have some idea about the American Foreign Service:
– As many of you know, I lived at Greece during my 10th Grade and 11th Grade (1971 – 1973). We Americans residing at Greece were a small community among ourselves. I came to be familiar with the children of American ambassadorial and consular personnel as school-mates, I made myself available to ambassadorial and consular functions, I attended ambassadorial and consular events and activities.
– I took and passed the Foreign Service exam in 1984. The Foreign Service invited me to re-take that exam the next year – to improve my score and get an immediate appointment. I declined. I came to a decision that I might not be interested in working for the federal government.
As the Impeachment Enquiry witnesses replied under oath this past week – their work is totally non-partisan. One Republi-con inquisitor accused the Foreign Service officer with the appellation ‘Never Trumper’. In rebuttal, one Democratic member of the Impeachment Enquiry asked her if she is a ‘Never Trumper’, she replied ‘No’, added that Reagan (a Republi-con) appointed her, that she served four Republi-con presidents (including Drumpf) and two Democratic presidents.
That’s what personnel management is, as far as I’m concerned. We serve the employees – the human resources of our office – be they agency management, first-line supervisor, or rank-and-file employee.
Lemme discuss what demonstrates my comportment to that ideal.
Several people at the second Forest Service office where I worked were regularly abusive toward me. In particular, I shall comment about Dick and Pat – husband and wife.
Dick, a unit supervisor at a different organisation of this Forest Service installation, was always abrasive with me, insulting me, demeaning me. Pat worked within my organisation as an Accounting Clerk; she was among the gossip committee at work, among the people in earshot who spoke insults about me.
Throughout my tenure, I was always courteous to both. I worked with Pat every day in matters connecting her tasks in accounting and my tasks in personnel management and payroll. I was likewise always courteous with Dick when I worked with him doing personnel management tasks and payroll for his employees.
It came to be in Spring 1985 that a payroll fraud occurred. The Director and his two Assistant Directors quietly ordered their unit supervisors to allow payroll timekeeping and timesheets to be submitted with deliberately false information that incorrectly paid overtime compensation to these employees – over-paid more likely than under-paid. This fraud came to light; suddenly the Washington Office took note and ordered an investigation. The only Forest Service employees who were subjected to disciplinary action were the rank-and-file employees of their work unit and Dick, their supervisor. Not one manager who issued the orders to commit payroll fraud ever faced disciplinary personnel action.
One day, after the Forest Service administration issued their decisions, Dick came to me. He spoke apologetically, quietly, and subdued. He asked me why I came to his support about what happened – especially considering all the abuse that he put on me for five years. I told him that that was the honest thing to do.
I was totally non-partisan regarding all the players in that mess. I was ‘Just the facts, Ma’am’. Ya see, I became a staunch critic of the investigation and out-spoken with the eventual disposition of the case. I would not be silent anymore. The Forest Service was running the employees and supervisor through the wringer while taking no action against the managers:
– Yes, the supervisor was correctly subject to sanction for his workplace misbehaviour ordering his employees to commit federal payroll fraud.
– Yes, the employees knew better than to submit fraudulent payroll time records that would pay them more than they earned.
– Yes, the supervisor and the employees deserved some form of notice of adverse action in their personnel record.
But clearly, the agency management should have been held to the ultimate disciplinary action, and definitely more than the severity that was enacted upon the agency personnel under their command.
Another of my non-partisonship was with the Mormon employees. Yes, in my private life, I was then and still am openly opposed to the LDS. But I kept my personal attitude to myself, did not bring it to work, did not take out my personal grudge against any LDS co-workers. My frequent lunch-mate is LDS; with other more interesting and common subject matter, our religions were low on the list of discussion topics. I expressed my outrage and disgust at the workplace disrespect singled out against LDS employees. The Mormons at work knew about me and appreciated my solid defence of them.
Maybe it no longer mattered – my high profile meant that I no longer had anything to lose.
Yovanovitch under attack while she testified:
Crooked Drumpf threatens Impeachment Enquiry witnesses:
Crooked Drumpf lies about the Impeachment Enquiry witnesses and the Whistleblowers:
Speaker Pelosi: ‘The whistleblower is there to speak truth to power and have protection for doing that … I will defend the rights of the whistleblower vehemently.’:
Russian espionage infiltrated American Ambassadorial telephone systems:
Lock him up!!!
I’ve been watching ABC News. They mentioned that Crooked Stone could expect a maximum sentence of 50 years – effectively, Crooked Stone will die inside the pokey where he belongs.
ABC News reported that Crooked Stone presented no defence, that the jury made quick work determining his guilt, and commented that this demonstrates that, for Drumpfians, ‘lying to Congress results in real consequences’.
Unfortunately, expect Crooked Drumpf to issue his Presidential Pardon.
Elections have consequences.
You can thank each and every one of your family and friends who vote Republi-con, voted for Drumpf, support Drumpf’s political agenda, and boast that they will vote the same for Election Day 2020:
Crooked Drumpf found his Rasputin:
Drumpf’s witness tampering:
Republi-cons admit that the Whistleblower exposed Drumpf’s crimes:
‘Total Resistance’ is a how-to book written by Hans von Dach Bern.
Your Public Library should have this book.
Read it, study it, be prepared to use it after Crooked Drumpf overthrows our Consitution.
It’s how The Resistance won WW2 against Hitler and his NAZIs.
‘We’ flushed out and defeated the NAZIs then, ‘We’ shall do it again.
I post this ‘Total Resistance’ reference here for a purpose.
I am a Student of the Shoah Holocaust. I learned how Fascism and NAZI-ism takes hold of a nation. It’s a very good book. I read it through several times during the Baby Bush terms – I wanted to be prepared to respond to the day when Baby Bush imposed Republi-con Fascism.
I’m also a realist.
As far as I am concerned, Crooked Drumpf is continuing Amerika’s road to NAZI-ism and Fascism – disrupted by Obama, finishing what Baby Bush couldn’t complete.
Let’s read some quotes about the Impeachment Enquiry.
‘Drumpf will win the Electoral College by a landslide. Nothing’s gonna happen with Impeachment. Is Drumpf shady? Yeh! Shady and shifty.’
– Dana Loesch, R (her radio show, 7 Nov 2019)
‘Sondland testified that there was quid pro quo for Zelensky to investigate Biden to dig up political dirt in exchange for military aid from Drumpf. Sondland reported that to Drumpf several times.’
– KFNX AM Right-wing Republi-con radio network news (7 Nov 2019)
‘I don’t think that’s cause for removal!’
– Sen Mitch McConnell, R (KFNX AM Right-wing Republi-con radio network news, 7 Nov 2019)
‘We’re gonna have four more years of Drumpf!’
– Abby Huntsman, R (ABC ‘The View’, 11 Nov 2019)
‘We have a godless Guh’mint! It’s the lack of charitable giving. It comes down to ideology – that’s what drives this. Taxes for the rich actually decreased. This is envy. Hundreds of thousands of Veterans died during 2008 waiting for VA medical services. Wealth taxed is stupid. I can’t imagine poverty, Guh’mint welfare. You don’t deserve anything. God loves the Bible – you don’t deserve what you haven’t earned.’
– Dana Loesch, R (her radio show, 11 Nov 2019)
‘Russia invaded Ukraine. They took over and made it part of Russia. They did bad things. It’s Russia aggression.’
– Pat Robertson, R (his CBN ‘700 Club’ TV show, 14 Nov 2019)
‘Republi-cons made yesterday’s Impeachment enquiry about Republi-cons. We set the example. Admit that what Drumpf did is wrong. Drumpf’s call to Zelensky was a breach of security. Republi-cons are not upset about that telephone call.’
– Abby Huntsman, R (ABC ‘The View’, 14 Nov 2019)
‘What a wonderful idea! Let’s get Bibles placed in every Public School in Amerika.’
– Gordon Robertson, R (his CBN ‘700 Club’ TV show, 15 Nov 2019)
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