News from Passman & Kaplan: On April 1, 2019, Passman & Kaplan, P.C. Founding Principal Edward H. Passman and his client, Tricia Newbold, were both interviewed in the press. Ms. Newbold was interviewed by NBC News. Mr. Passman was interviewed on National Public Radio (NPR), on NPR's All Things Considered program. Both interviews concerned Ms. Newbold's claims against the Executive Office of the President, Office of Administration, which were recently discussed in greater detail in this blog.
News from Congress: Tricia Newbold, an employee at the Executive Office of the President, Office of Administration, recently testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. As the Committee's chair, Rep. Elijah Cummings, stated in an April 1, 2019 letter to the White House, Ms. Newbold "has informed the Committee that during the Trump Administration, she and other career officials adjudicated denials of dozens of applications for security clearances that were later overturned. As a result, she warned that security clearance applications for White House officials 'were not always adjudicated in the best interest of national security.' She also reported to the Committee that she has been targeted for retaliation after declining to grant security clearances based on longstanding national security protocols. She stated: 'I'm terrified of going back. I know that this will not be perceived in favor of my intentions, which is to bring back the integrity of the office.'"
Developments at the MSPB: On February 28, 2019, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) issued its annual report for FY 2018. The report discussed the current status of the MSPB's overall case processing in FY 2018.
Developments at the OSC: The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) recently issued its annual report to Congress for Fiscal Year 2017.
News from Passman & Kaplan: As a public service, Passman & Kaplan wished to generally warn federal employees about the often-short response deadlines that apply when federal employees are faced with a proposed adverse action, in light of recent changes in the law.
News from the Courts: The U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 7th and 9th Circuits each issued recent whistleblower reprisal decisions. Both courts reversed rigid Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) decisions requiring specific fact allegations in whistleblower claims at the Office of Special Counsel (OSC).
News from the Courts: On December 7, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit issued its decision in Flynn v. Securities and Exchange Commission, No. 16-2122. In one of the later decisions to arise under the recently-expired all-circuit review provision for federal sector whistleblower reprisal claims.
News from Congress: On October 26, 2017, new whistleblower protection legislation was signed into law as Pub.L. 115-73. The statute makes several important changes to whistleblower reprisal protections for federal employees.
News from the Federal Circuit: On October 26, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued its en banc decision rehearing in Parkinson v. Dept. of Justice, No. 2015-3066. In a split decision, the Court rejected an FBI employee's ability to raise a whistleblower reprisal affirmative defense in his MSPB appeal.
News from Congress: On June 23, 2017, the President signed into law Pub.L. 115-41. The new statute reduces civil service protections for employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA).