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Federal Employees: You be the Judge

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#1 Posted : Tuesday, June 11, 2019 5:45:38 PM(UTC)

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After working on military aircraft for twenty-eight years, I landed a position at Offutt AFB, Nebraska, where I was required to disregard inspection criteria set forth by the applicable aircraft technical manuals. In 2008, I went public and “blew-the-whistle” through the Kansas City Star. Embarrassment proved more effective than reports to the Inspector General(s) or Congress.

An April 2015 fire on board a prized RC-135 spy plane caught the attention of an investigative reporter from the Omaha World-Herald. Three years later (June 2018) the Omaha World-Herald published a three-part series exposing serious maintenance deficiencies within the 55th Wing. For the second time in ten years, embarrassment was the most effective means to motivate change.

I have chronicled the ten-year calamity in a public disclosure available as a free PDF download at the website, The55thWinganadaPrayer.com. A discussion over this matter would be interesting.

This post includes subject matter pertinent to the following forums: Intelligence Community, Security Clearance, OPM, Military News, VA, DOJ, and DOD. Feedback is welcomed through this forum.
#2 Posted : Saturday, June 15, 2019 3:39:19 AM(UTC)

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Hi - I didn't read all of it, but I like the quote: "Whistleblowers do not enjoy a so-called 'fifteen minutes of fame.' There is no enjoyment in being fired, threatened, or harassed. How do whistleblowers pay bills or feed the family?" So true - there is no protection for the whistleblowers. Your manuscript also shows the deviousness of the agency: "Management timed the suspension to coincide with catastrophic medical expenses stemming from my wife’s diagnosis of cancer. This was yet another despicable attempt to force me to quit." I'm so sorry that you and Vicki had to face all the torment that you endured, but I am glad that you were allowed to stay until retirement. That said, this nightmare started for you in 2005 - it has been a long harrowing journey that should have never occurred.
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airman on 6/15/2019(UTC), emrlddragon on 6/18/2019(UTC)
#3 Posted : Saturday, June 15, 2019 7:52:04 AM(UTC)

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I can relate to the strategic timing of discipline. They decided to implement my fist action during planned time off. I suppose they thought it would make me angry. Why would it? The goal was to get AWAY from them. Time off is time off. Maybe they assumed I lived paycheck to paycheck and wouldn't have any financial support.

They also sent my proposed removal notice during a period they assumed I'd be on vacation. It was a way for the psycho manager to get back at me for something that happened 7 or 8 months beforehand. Who plots against someone so far in advance? Just one of many behaviors that revealed how nutty this individual was. But it was another miscalculation on their part.

My agency originally planned to terminate me right before the holidays (that's a special kind of evil) but I think I bought myself some time because employees had tipped me off with their gossip, and I made it known. A disgusting agency that I'm glad showed their true colors so I didn't waste anymore time pursuing them.

I'm sorry you had to go through this OP, but I'm glad you're standing in your power and choosing not to be a victim. Thanks for sharing.
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airman on 6/15/2019(UTC), DroneBee on 6/23/2019(UTC)
#4 Posted : Saturday, June 15, 2019 3:43:53 PM(UTC)

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Thank you for the kind words, nightchop and DroneBee. Federal employees should never have to choose between doing what is right or ignoring what is wrong.

The men who fly the aircraft operated by the 55th Wing owe a great deal of thanks to the journalists who reported this story, and to the legal team members who represented me. It was they who made it possible to bring the affair full circle with the final two chapters, (Fire, Fire, Fire) and (Vindicated).

One of my favorite quotes comes from the last chapter: “I can think of only one way to describe to the general public exactly how poorly maintained these aircraft are. So, I’ll start with something every human being can understand — human waste.”
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emrlddragon on 6/18/2019(UTC)
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