For Immediate Release

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Phone: (202) 342-1902

NWC Calls for Immediate Appointment of New Special Counsel

WASHINGTON - Yesterday, former U.S. Special Counsel Scott Bloch was charged with criminal contempt
of Congress for withholding "pertinent" information from the House
Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  Bloch was forced to resign
in October 2008 amid allegations that he retaliated against employees
and dismissed whistleblower cases without fully investigating them.

Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblowers Center issued the following statement:
The Office of Special Counsel (OSC)
was disgraced under Bloch and the taxpayers are the ones who suffered. 
The legal guardian for protecting whistleblowers, was not only engaged
in retaliation, but we now learn he criminally covered up misconduct.

Since its inception in 1978, the Office of Special Counsel has failed
to live up to its mission of protecting whistleblowers and has been
dominated by political appointees.  Although the track record of the
OSC has been highly criticized over the past 30 years, having the
former head of whistleblower enforcement charged with serious criminal
misconduct highlights how OSC has been abused by politicians intent on
having the foxes guard the chicken coop. 

Congress and the President must
respond by immediately appointing a new Special Counsel. The new
appointee must be top notch and must have the background and
experience, not only as a proven strong advocate for whistleblowers,
but as a tough and aggressive enforcement official. For too long the
OSC has been seeped in the culture of cover-up. Whistleblowers need a
real advocate and a powerful voice within the administration. A new
standard must be enforced and never again should this office be

President Obama promised during the campaign to
appoint a Special Counsel with 'expertise in whistleblower law and a
firm commitment to protecting whistleblowers.' It has been over 2 years
since President Obama made this promise, and no
nomination has even been sent to the Senate for confirmation.




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Since 1988, the NWC and attorneys associated with it have supported whistleblowers in the courts and before Congress and achieved victories for environmental protection, government contract fraud, nuclear safety and government and corporate accountability.

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