Grassley: Whistleblower Cases Stuck 'In Limbo' under Holder
Byline: Jerry Seper, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee is challenging the commitment to whistle-blowers of Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole as one FBI case continues to languish after nine years and another has sat in limbo for more than four years.
Whistle-blowers are key to unlocking many of the secrets hidden deep in the closets of the federal government. Allowing a case to sit in limbo for more than nine years shows a lack of commitment to resolving issues for these courageous people, said Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa.
The excessive time to make a judgment on these cases indicates that the process for adjudicating FBI whistleblower claims is broken and needs to be fixed, he said, adding that a recent decision by Mr. Cole to remand a 9-year-old case for further proceedings is mind-boggling and calls into question his commitment to help support whistleblowers.
In a letter Monday, Mr. Grassley cited the case of FBI Agent Jane Turner, who in 2002 filed a whistle-blower complaint with the Justice Department's Office of Inspector General after discovering that agents had removed items from ground zero at the World Trade Center in New York following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Because of the inspector general's delayed decision, Mr. Grassley said, Ms. Turner was forced to file an appeal with the Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management, which ordered the FBI to issue back pay, attorneys' fees and other relief. After an FBI appeal, he said, Mr. Cole remanded the case for further proceedings, and it now continues to languish nine years after Agent Turner's original complaint.
In February 2007, a Minneapolis civil jury of six women and four men unanimously held that the FBI had retaliated illegally against Ms. …