Individuals form a critical part of what makes our country function, that allows for citizens to be free and safe in their homes, jobs, businesses, and in transportation, water, air and other aspects of life. The Whistleblower is an American institution that must be protected. Individuals who bravely report wrongdoing, unsafe conditions, financial misdeeds, and other conditions that threaten the integrity of our country and social lives need our support and protection. These “ordinary heroes,” as Bloch as called them in FDR_Speech_San_Antonio_8-22, require a champion to back them when powerful politicians and rich companies come after them.
Private suits under the False Claims Act form an important part of the policing of integrity in corporate America from defense contractors to financial services corporations. The statutory schemes also provide for protections for those blowing the whistle on corporate or government fraud, such as the protections found in the False Claims Act and Sarbanes Oxley Act that make unlawful retaliation against an employee who discloses misconduct, kickbacks, or fraud. Scott Bloch has long defended the rights of these brave individuals under private civil laws as well as laws applicable to public employers such as the Whistleblower Protection Act. He did so in private practice for many years before becoming the chief protector of whistleblowers nationally, and internationally, as the United States Special Counsel. Not only did he protect whistleblowers, but he brought to light the important and shocking conditions these public servants all over the world brought to light. These cases are complex and require an experienced hand to analyze your case and bring it to fruition.
Dallas morning news reported how Scott Bloch took on the federal government’s cover up of near misses at Air Traffic Control facilities and fraudulent assignment of pilot errors to cover up FAA errors. Scott Bloch took on Southwest Airlines for fraudulent cover up of dangerous cracks in the fuselages of aircraft in passenger service, which was reported nationally in USA Today, The Washington Post, Tom Costello story on whistleblowers and grounding of Southwest flights, CNN, The New York Times, NPR, and The Today Show on NBC. Here is the Honorable Scott J. Bloch’s testimony before Congress explaining the dangerous avoidance by FAA and the airlines of their duty to report and fix violations of Airworthiness Directives. As a result Bloch’s and the whistleblower’s, Boutris and Peters, bringing the public’s attention that the FAA was “in bed” with the airlines in their partnership program, the FAA required all airlines check for cracks in fuselages to make sure the flying public was protected.
This disaster came back to roost when a Southwest Airlines flight developed a 5 foot hole in the roof in April of 2011, allowing passengers to see the sky at 30000 feet, and the grounding of 300 flights as a result. Bloch addressed this alarming development in an op ed Bloch on aviation safety, and the relationship between this serious incident and his oversight of the very same same airline in 2008 and the problems with the complacency in regulatory oversight that made this possible.
In uncovering environmental safety, a recent opinion piece credited Bloch with making a difference in Federal Prisons in 2007 as well as today, due to heroic interventions on behalf of whistleblower Leroy Smith.
This originally broke nationally on National Public Radio in which Bloch and Smith explained the cover up and refusal of the Department of Justice to do anything about the dangerous emissions of chemicals.
He spoke recently to the Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocacy (EBCALA) at the National Autism Convention in Chicago, Illinois in May of 2010. His talk was entitled, “Mercury’s Rising: Thimerisol and the Law of Contradiction in Public Policy.” He spoke on the whistleblower complaint filed with him by 300 whistleblowers concerning mercury in the vaccines given to persons in early childhood, and his determination that the thimerisol mercury was a potent neurotaoxin for which there was no medical justification.
No scientists believes it was good to inject small human beings multiple times with potentially poisonous preservatives. And some scientists including some who had done studies for CDC and NIH were seeing problems with mercury in the vaccines, as shown by this 2004 CBS report. Bloch weighed in on this controversial public health issue because of the profound consequences to so many millions of children if it were not properly studied. He did not find that vaccines or mercury in the vaccines caused autism or attention deficit disorder but rather that the scientific community believed injecting mercury was not medically justified, and there was apparent confusion and misinformation about whether vaccines still contained thimerisol, the mercury based preservative not is not necessary to effective vaccine distribution. See this OSC release on this issue. This action by Bloch was covered in investigative reports on CBS news. This resulted in great praise and blame from Congress and special interest groups. But it also caused the Inspector General to do further investigation after the COMed report demanded reexamination of the claims that mercury had come out of the vaccines and follow up on Bloch’s report. Since that time, Bloch has been asked as a private sector attorney to look at the dangers in certain drugs put out on the market by large pharmaceutical companies without adequate testing.
In the arena of Financial Services fraud, Scott Bloch intervened on behalf of the government in the Pequot Financial Services insider trading whistleblower retaliation case. The case garnered significant publicity and hearings before the Senate, and recently the SEC concluded that Pequot was guilty of insider trading which resulted in an large settlement. The whistleblower whom Bloch backed after he came to Bloch as head of the Office of Special Counsel, recently settled his claims against the SEC for retaliating against him when he brought Pequod’s misdeeds to light, and complained that Pequod’s CEO was being given a pass for political reasons due to his association with the President of the United States.
In Public Integrity enforcement, Bloch became very well known and upset powerful people in the party that appointed him to the Senate-Confirmed Post for protecting whistleblowers. His work in upholding the law under the Hatch Act caused high ranking officials to have to leave office, including the head of a large federal agency that handles all government contracts and buildings, as well as a United States Attorney, and an Inspector General. In addition to revealing wrongdoing in government on National Public Radio, he also protected the whistleblowers (see US News Profile on Bloch May 2007 and LA Times Profile May 1 2007) who brought these matters to the government’s and the public’s attention. Based on the report of whistleblowers, Scott Bloch set up a task force to look into the possible extensive use of the White House and agencies of government, and taxpayer resources, to engage in partisan electioneering in violation of the Hatch Act. He also obtained a special appropriation in order to do the extensive investigation and ultimate report he asked the task force to produce. That official report came out recently, finding misuse of government resources by the White House and administration officials to get candidates elected across the United States. Its release was simultaneous with the White House abolishing the Office of Political Affairs that had been in place for over thirty years. See Washington Times Bloch Editorial on Hatch Act Report on this momentous victory for public integrity.
He has dedicated himself to protecting whistleblowers in the private sector in recent government contracting problems in missile defense contracts, Iraq and Afghanistan, pharmaceutical company cover ups, and aviation false claims cases. He recently settled a case favorably for a high level employee of a defense contractor who brought to light irregularities in reporting and false claims investigations, and was forced to leave his position. He is currently involved in a government contracting dispute involving officials who were imprisoned for bribery and violations of anti-kickback laws.
Persons who are willing to come forward with information that is important to the public need an advocate who has been battle tested. Contact us for a free consultation.