Grassley and Issa Concerned ATF Director’s Comments Could Put a Chill on Whistleblowing
Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa, two of Capitol Hill’s chief critics of ATF, expressed concern about comments the agency’s acting Director B. Todd Jones made to employees earlier this month.
Specifically, the two were concerned about a comment that could put a chill on whistleblowers.
Todd said: “… if you make poor choices, that if you don’t abide by the rules, that if you don’t respect the chain of command, if you don’t find the appropriate way to raise your concerns to your leadership, there will be consequences. …”
A press release from Grassley and Issa stated:
Grassley and Issa wrote to Jones, stating that the essence of whistleblowing is reporting problems outside of an employee’s chain of command, and whistleblowers were instrumental in exposing the shortcomings of the government’s botched gun-walking operation, Fast and Furious. Grassley and Issa wrote to Jones, “Your ominous message – which could be interpreted as a threat – is likely to have a major chilling effect on ATF employees exercising their rights to contact Congress. Therefore, it needs to be clarified.”
Grassley and Issa also wrote, “On numerous occasions, we have stressed to ATF and the Department of Justice the importance of protecting whistleblower disclosures and preventing retaliation against whistleblowers.”
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