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Whistleblower Groups Urge President Obama to Fire Commerce Inspector General

Todd Zinser

Todd Zinser, the Commerce Department's Inspector General

A coalition of whistleblower advocates are calling on President Obama to fire Commerce Department Inspector General Todd Zinser for his history of retaliating against whistleblowers and creating a hostile environment for those who might want to report wrongdoing.

In a letter that the Project On Government Oversight, the Government Accountability Project and the National Whistleblowers Center sent to the president today, the groups detailed several examples of how Zinser had either protected those accused of retaliating against whistleblowers or had targeted whistleblowers, himself.

“It is unconscionable to have Mr. Zinser lead an office that is supposed to work hand-in-hand with whistleblowers to hold the Department of Commerce accountable,” said POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian. “President Obama needs to take a stand here and send a message to the federal workforce that retaliating against whistleblowers will not be tolerated.”

POGO’s letter follows some harsh criticism of Zinser from members of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Committee Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) announced recently that Zinser has targeted individuals in his office whom Zinser believed were cooperating with the Committee’s investigation into his conduct.

Committee members on both sides of the aisle have echoed Johnson’s concerns, writing in an April 2014 letter that “the mistreatment and intimidation of potential whistleblowers is emblematic of a culture which has taken hold at the Commerce [Office of Inspector General].”

To read the letter from the whistleblower coalition letter, click here.

Topics: Whistleblower Protections

Related Content: Inspector General Oversight

Authors: Joe Newman

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