Alliance For Whistleblowers • PO Box 16495 • Washington, DC 20041

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Zero Tolerance Magnet

Whistleblowers are American Heroes.

The Alliance For Whistleblowers supports
Zero Tolerance for Retaliation Against Whistleblowers -
As the Legislative Priority of the Community of Whistleblowers

Thomas Day
Thomas F. Day
President

I became a whistleblower in 1989 shortly after enactment of the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) when as a civilian contract price/cost analyst (CPCA) with the Joint Cruise Missle Project Office I was encouraged to make an $80 million dollar cost saving “suggestion”. With the cooperation of other CPCAs throughout the federal government the disclosure grew to over $100 billion and eventually become the supporting documentation for the "peace dividend" after the collapse of the Iron Curtain. My Congressional testimony helped secure the 1994 amendment to the WPA. After 9/11 I was hired by the U.S. Coast Guard and then unintentionally became a whistleblower once again in mid-2010 when I reported to a senior manager that a colleague, Mr. Warren Wood, had determined that there were unallowable costs in the proposals for the CG's Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA). When Mr. Wood was threatened with termination if he did not alter his findings, I again reported the threatened termination to senior managment. Like most whistleblowers, I was making a report of an impropriety to senior officials and simply expected that these people who I had worked with for years would simply take the necessary steps to correct the improprietiy. It wasn't long before the various acts of retaliation began which eventually let to my filing of disclosure with the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) and after a typical do-nothing investigation by OSC I filed my case, pro se, with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) in May of 2012. In late 2012, the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA) was enacted and the case of Day v. Department of Homeland Security was selected as the test case to determine the fate for jurisdiction of about 100 cases then pending at MSPB. In a blink I found myself right back in the thick of whistleblower issues with a number of well-known participants in the whistleblower community submitting amicus briefs. As the litigant in the case, it was up to me to submit a summary brief and I argued that the WPEA was a clarification of law and was therefore retroactive in its application to pending cases. The MSPB Board agreed and many whistleblowers had their day in court. That did not end my case nor did it end the retaliation so I filed a second case under the WPEA. Both cases were consolidated and an Initial Decision was issued in September of 2016. As of the writing of this introduction, I've filed a Petition for Review with the Board and the review is pending the appointments necessary to fill the two MSPB Board vacancies.

Benjamin Strickland Photo
Benjamin Strickland
Executive Vice-President
CDR Strickland has extensive experience in naval operations and the commercial maritime industry, having held leadership positions in three different federal departments as both a commissioned officer and a civilian. CDR Strickland has a distinctive background that includes surface warfare, strategic planning, defense policy, counter-drug operations, fisheries, immigration enforcement, search and rescue, operational readiness, maritime security, and marine safety. During his career of over 20 years of combined service in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, he served aboard six ships, including Command of his own cutter in one of the Coast Guard’s most arduous areas of operation. After suffering whistleblower retaliation at the hands of senior Coast Guard officials, CDR Strickland honorably retired from active duty in 2015 and accepted a civil service position with the U.S. Maritime Administration as a National Security Specialist. He now works as a maritime systems and capabilities analyst in the private sector.

CDR Strickland has earned a B.S degree from Maine Maritime Academy, and an M.A. degree from the U.S. Naval War College. He holds an active merchant marine credential as a 200 ton Master Mariner and an unlimited tonnage Deck Officer. He has traveled extensively to Western Europe, Russia, Persian Gulf, Far East, Australia, and Africa as well as Mexico, Central and South America. He is married and active in government accountability and whistleblower support endeavors in the National Capital Region.

CDR Strickland’s hobbies include: politics, reading, travel, and Mercedes automobiles.
Ern Reynolds
Chief Legal Counsel

In 1990, Ern Reynolds found himself suddenly shunned as a whistleblower – mere collateral damage, ground up for surfacing a 15-million dollar computer procurement scandal. (His nominal superiors at all four levels above him were in on the wrongdoing, though none took any money; his moral superiors they were not.)

From inside the US Department of Justice, this veteran lawyer made the rookie mistake of believing the law meant what it says. Dénouement was painful. His expertise (proven to the highest military-&-engineering standards in the security of computers, their data, and their working environment) was impugned. He was fired -- upon the pretense that he wrote an incompetent division-wide security plan and response plan. He sued over the dismissal; fired his disloyal private attorneys; and after years’ delay he got retired instead. The Antitrust Division continued to use his “incompetent” written plans long after he left.

Being a system-loyal informant inside the bureaucracy also got his top secret security clearance yanked. That insult offended his patriotism most deeply, and was pivotal to keep him in the fight. Only contractors (not civil servants) have clearance appeal rights. He learned the hard way that the US Department of Justice harbors careerists in decision-making positions who qualify as domestic enemies of the Constitution. (These are the same people who refuse to prosecute after the FBI makes a compelling evidentiary case.) That discovery meant he entered a parallel universe. He faced an adjudicator who never went to law school, in a forum where the final judge did not stand neutral to the cause. He was denied his statutory right to summon witnesses. His attorneys hired from outside the government betrayed him. There was no route of appeal.

His wife of 25 years divorced him once his money ran out. His new companions in exile continue to be some of the morally bravest people in America. He claims he has led a fulfilling mostly happy life. This D.C. lawyer is the author of Whistleblower Remedies: Counseling the Principled Dissenter. But recounting his lessons learned also produced another more widely applicable text. There exists an overarching body of law that is inescapable, morally neutral, and not manmade. No law school teaches it, despite the disservice to law students. Its active use enabled him to penetrate the computer procurement scandal described above. (Cyberneticians “see around corners”.)

His broader book is Dissolving the Hard Stuff: Using Beer and Cybernetic Basics for Governance. Its text is what he wanted to learn from the Harvard JD-MBA degree he never formally completed. Instead he researched and wrote the work himself. This text advocates the inclusion of systems science in enlightened law school curricula. What is taught would-be attorneys and future judges badly needs explication of the universal laws that govern the natural world. Causation is seldom simple, proximate, and direct. A name for this presently nonexistent course would be universal law jurisprudence / adjudicative modeling.

Barbara King-Searles
Board Member

Barbara King-Searles has extensive experience in the Government and Non-Profit sectors in social services program development.  Over the last 30 years she has held leadership positions within the Department of Defense both as a civilian and as an active duty Air Force non-commissioned officer.  She specializes in designing individual and family wellness and resiliency programs for military members and families.  She has lead installation military Family Support Centers at locations in Texas, Florida and California and for Headquarters Air Mobility Command at Scott Air Force Base IL, and Headquarters Space Command at Peterson AFB CO, successfully leading them through change and fiscal challenges, building collaborative partnerships and assisted in family matters program development.

She served as Chief, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office at Sheppard AFB TX from 2007-2009, during that time she reported harassment of those reporting sexual assaults by the local Office of Special Investigation (OSI) and was herself the victim of an illegal Commander Directed Investigation that led to her demotion.  In the intervening years, King-Searles successfully prevailed in a Merit Systems Protection Board action in which the administrative judge issued a decision reversing her reduction in grade and pay, finding that she proved her affirmative defense of whistleblower reprisal. See King v. Department of the Air Force, MSPB Docket No. DA-0752-09-0604-B-1, Initial Decision (Oct. 3, 2012).  This case became a significant MSPB case due to the initial decision placing it as one of the first MSBP cases after enactment of the 2012 Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA) and became the landmark case, when they ruled that compensatory damages included in the WPEA were not retroactive to cases occurring prior to the Act (http://www.mspb.gov/SignificantCases/king.htm).

King-Searles holds a Masters Degree in Organizational Development from the University of Phoenix and a B.S. in Social Psychology from Park University.   She also is active in community service, serving on as volunteer with organizations serving families in crisis, and is a firm believer that in providing for the health and wellbeing of families, we can allow children to grow to their full potential.

Barbara and her husband reside in Fairfax VA.  They have two children and two grandchildren.

Judge London Steverson,
ALJ (Retired)

Advisor to the Board

A retired Administrative Law Judge who serves as an advisor to the Board.