July 17, 2017

Whistleblower News From The Inside — July 17, 2017

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

DOE Inspector General to Investigate PNNL Whistleblower Complaint — The Department of Energy Office of Inspector General plans an independent investigation into allegations of retaliation against a Pacific Northwest National Laboratory employee. Aleta Busselman was removed from her position after she declined to make changes to a report that blamed management for a $530,000 theft of government money, according to a legal complaint. The DOE national lab in Richland was tricked into making the substantial payment into a fraudulent bank account. The Office of Inspector General on Wednesday notified Jack Sheridan, Busselman’s Seattle attorney, that it plans to investigate, including interviewing witnesses and analyzing documents. Tri-City Herald

FBI: Fugitive Lawyer Linked to Social Security Fraud Spotted — Federal agents tracking a fugitive Kentucky lawyer involved in a massive Social Security fraud case released surveillance photos Friday indicating that his escape route took him to New Mexico. The FBI said the weeks-old photos showed Eric Conn at a gas station and a Walmart in New Mexico. The photos were revealed on the same day the flamboyant disability lawyer was supposed to be in federal court to face sentencing. The sentencing proceeded in Lexington, Kentucky, without Conn. The man who once was one of the country’s top disability lawyers was given a 12-year prison term — the maximum possible. U.S. News

Top 2 Officials Out at Manchester VA Hospital — Veterans Affairs Secretary David J. Shulkin on Sunday removed the two top officials at the Manchester VA Medical Center and ordered a “top-to-bottom” review of New Hampshire’s only hospital for veterans. Shulkin’s action came within hours after The Boston Globe published a Spotlight Team report detailing what several doctors and other medical staffers allege is dangerously substandard care given at the facility. The hospital’s chief of medicine, Dr. Stewart Levenson, said he had “never seen a hospital run this poorly.” The staffers, who reported the Manchester hospital to a federal whistle-blower agency, described an operating room infested with flies, veterans with crippling spinal damage that might have been prevented, and surgical instruments that are obsolete and sometimes unsterile. Boston Globe

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