No Retaliation Against Whistleblowers? Sure There Wasn’t

William LaJeunesse of FoxNews reports today on the lives of those brave ATF agents who stood up and told the truth. He compares it with what happened to managers like Newell, Voth, McMahon, and Melson. It isn’t pretty.

The managers either got promotions or supposedly lateral transfers with paid moving expenses plus the cost of living bonus that comes with being assigned to Washington, DC and headquarters. The agents?

  • Agent Larry Alt took a transfer to Florida and has unresolved retaliation claims against the ATF.
  • Agent Pete Forcelli was demoted to a desk job. Forcelli is a respected investigator, with years as a detective with the New York City Police Department. He has requested an internal investigation to address the retaliation against him.
  • Agent James Casa also took a transfer to Florida.
  • Agent Carlos Canino, once the deputy attache in Mexico City, was moved to Tucson.
  • Agent Jose Wall, formerly assigned to Tijuana, was moved to Phoenix.
  • Agent Darren Gil, formerly the attache to Mexico, retired.

Perhaps the most courageous of all the whistleblowers is Senior Agent John Dodson. He was the first to come out publicly, the first to agree to have his name mentioned, and the first to go on-air with Sharyl Attkisson of CBS without a hidden identity. As might be expected given the management culture of ATF, Dodson’s life since then has been hell.

Dodson was told he was toxic and could no longer work in Phoenix. With sole custody of two teenagers and under water on his house mortgage, Dodson found himself with no place to be and nowhere to go.

A supervisor suggested he’d be treated fairly at an office in South Carolina. Wanting to keep his job, protect his pension and pay the mortgage, Dodson had no other choice. He and his family now live in a small apartment, facing financial troubles, still labeled persona non grata by the very agency he carries a badge for, and regularly assaulted by leaks from “ATF sources at headquarters.”

This was after he moved his family from Virginia to take the Phoenix position. Before his transfer to South Carolina, managers openly retaliated against Dodson by giving him the worst duty and even going so far as to turn off his building badge.

If there was a fund to help Agent Dodson get through this period, I’d donate in a heartbeat. If there isn’t a fund, there should be one. Moreover, in an entirely just world, Bill Newell and David Voth would be Federal inmates and their assets sold so as to compensate the victims of Project Gunwalker.

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