VA settles reprisal complaints of three whistleblowers

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With help from the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) three Veterans Affairs whistleblowers received “full and fair relief’ for reprisals experienced after they brought to light abuses at the VA hospital in Phoenix.  They are Dr. Katherine Mitchell, Paula Pedene, and Damian Reese. Mitchell and Pedene, who were removed from their jobs, have been given new assignments. Reese, who received negative performance reviews, will remain in her position as program analyst.

Hearing examines health of federal whistleblowing, finds alarming changes

Hearing witnesses Robert MacLean, Dr. Robert Van Boven and Tom Devine. Sept 9, 2014.

Hearing witnesses Robert MacLean, Dr. Robert Van Boven and Tom Devine. Sept 9, 2014.

At a hearing on Capitol Hill last Tuesday, witnesses delivered a combination of good news and dire predictions in testimonies on the state of whistleblowing in the federal government. The hearing, “Examining the Administration’s Treatment of Whistleblowers,” was held September 9 by the Government Oversight and Reform Committee, Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, US Postal Service and the Federal Census.

Snowden granted 3 years residency in Russia

The Russian government has granted intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden a residence permit, valid for up to three years from August 1. Snowden previously had been granted a one-year grant of temporary political asylum that expired July 31. Residency status, says Snowden’s lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, allows him to travel freely in Russia, go abroad for not more than three months, and apply for citizenship if he desires.  Until now, Snowden has been unable to seek asylum in another country because the U.S. State Department revoked his American passport on June 22, 2013, trapping him in Russia as he was passing through Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.

Snowden in “precarious” position after asylum status expires

Edward Snowden’s temporary asylum authorization from Russia expired yesterday, a development that puts him in a “precarious” position according to Amnesty International. Available information indicates that Snowden currently has “temporary leave to remain” while he waits for the Russian government to approve his request for an extension of asylum status for another year. The US government revoked Snowden’s US passport last year, leaving him in “legal limbo,” Amnesty reports.