Magazine article Security Management

Whistleblowers

Magazine article Security Management

Whistleblowers

Article excerpt

WHISTLEBLOWERS. The Texas Supreme Court decided that an employee cannot sue his employer for wrongful termination under a state whistleblower statute. The court ruled that the employee, who was fired when he tried to find out whether a crime had occurred on company property, was not asked to commit a crime himself and, therefore, could not pursue his claim.

Claude D'Unger was an officer for the Ed Rachal Foundation, a charitable organization that owns a ranch in Webb County, Texas. The ranch, which is used for wildlife and farming research, covers more than 100 square miles, including five miles along the Mexican border. Migrants from Mexico frequently crossed into the United States via this five-mile stretch of land.

D'Unger was suspicious that the ranch foreman, Ed DuBose, was harassing the migrants. D'Unger told the foundation's CEO, Paul Altheide. In response, Altheide told D'Unger to "drop it."

In September 1997, DuBose apprehended three teenage Mexican nationals trying to cross the border. He handcuffed them and turned them over to Border Patrol agents. D'Unger, who saw a log of the incident at the ranch, called the Border Patrol to ask about the teenagers. The Border Patrol told D'Unger that they had no knowledge of the incident.

Suspecting foul play, D'Unger contacted a congressman, two sheriffs, the Texas Attorney General's office, a senator, the Internal Revenue Service, a district judge, and the Mexican consulate about the incident. …

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