Statement of Danielle Brian, Executive Director, Project On Government Oversight:
With a settlement reached today through the Office of Special Counsel’s mediation program, whistleblower Franz Gayl’s long ordeal is finally over. Mr. Gayl was the Marine Corps science advisor who raised concerns about the delay in getting Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs) to troops in Iraq.
The delay cost lives and Mr. Gayl, frustrated with the Pentagon’s inaction, took the issue to Congress and the media in 2007. His courage to tell the truth, even if it meant going outside his command structure, cost him dearly. The Marine Corps retaliated against him, suspending him and eventually stripping him of his security clearance, which in effect meant he could no longer do his job.
The settlement reached today with the Marine Corps is significant, not only because it corrects the injustice to Mr. Gayl – and lets him get back to work – but also because it calls for the creation of a special team that will help educate Marines and civilian employees about their whistleblower rights. As part of the settlement, Mr. Gayl will serve on that team.
We are extremely proud to have advocated on Mr. Gayl’s behalf over the past seven years and are gratified to see that the Marine Corps and Pentagon have finally recognized his actions, which sped up the delivery of MRAPs and saved thousands of lives.
To read the release from the Office of Special Counsel.