INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—The Kelley School of Business, in partnership with other academic units at Indiana University, is sponsoring a collegiate tour hosted by the Government Accountability Project (GAP), which is aimed at informing university students about the accomplishments of whistleblowers. Whistleblowers are the individuals who help publicize wrongdoing while empowering citizens and promoting corporate and government accountability.
“Whistleblowers serve an important function in law and society,” said Julie Manning Magid, associate professor of business law at Kelley Indianapolis and co-author of a recent paper on retaliation related to whistleblowers. “They are the ‘insiders’ who have the best access to report wrongdoing. Such reporting can lead to a more effective system of operation by assuring that everyone plays by the same rules. Increasingly, the law relies on whistleblowers in complicated financial and regulatory systems.”
The American Whistleblower Tour: Essential Voices for Accountability will feature two speakers from GAP, the nation’s leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization. This collegiate tour seeks to educate the public — particularly our country’s incoming workforce — about the phenomenon of whistleblowing. Visit http://www.whistleblower.org for more information.
GAP has handled some of the highest-profile whistleblower cases that have emerged in recent years, including those of the two speakers who will speak at IUPUI on Wednesday, March 27, 2013.
Kenneth Kendrick, a former assistant plant manager at Peanut Corporation of America (PCA), blew the whistle on the company’s numerous public health violations. Salmonella-tainted peanut butter originating from PCA sickened hundreds of people across the United States in 2008 and 2009, resulting in several deaths. Although the widespread contamination was traced to a single plant in Georgia, it was Kendrick’s whistleblowing on Good Morning America that belied PCA’s defense that the batch of peanut butter from the Georgia plant was an unexpected and isolated event.
Rick Piltz is a former senior associate in the coordination office of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program. In 2005, he blew the whistle on the White House’s improper editing and censorship of science program reports on global warming intended for Congress and the public. GAP, which represented Piltz, released edited reports to The New York Times that documented the actual hand-editing – by White House Counsel on Environmental Quality Chief of Staff Philip Cooney, a lawyer and former climate team leader with the American Petroleum Institute – which hoped to downplay the reality of human-driven global warming and to exaggerate scientific uncertainty. This scandal sparked a media frenzy that resulted in the resignation of Cooney, who found a job at ExxonMobil days later. Piltz lives in Washington, D.C., where he is the director and founder of Climate Science Watch, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting integrity in the government’s use of climate science.
The American Whistleblower tour will stop in Indianapolis on March 27, 2013, at 6 pm in Hine Hall (850 W. Michigan St.) on the IUPUI campus.