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American Whistleblowers Live at Baruch

Join the Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity as we host the Government Accountability Project's American Whistleblower Tour. Panelists will share their stories about how they discovered serious wrongdoing, why the decided to speak out about the problems they witnessed, and what they experienced after "blowing the whistle."
American Whistleblowers Live at Baruch

Time Magazine, December, 30 2002

When  Oct 21, 2014
from 12:45 PM to 02:15 PM
Where  55 Lexington Avenue (enter on 24th or 25th), Room 14-220
Contact Name 
Contact Phone  646-312-3231
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Watch the video recording of American Whistleblowers


Background

Every year, thousands of Americans witness wrongdoing on the job. These workers discover waste, fraud, abuse or malfeasance that could jeopardize the lives of others, or well-being of the public. They may see food processing plants sending contaminated and dangerous meat to consumers, nuclear facilities in gross violations of safety protocols, a chemical company dump hazardous waste into rivers unlawfully, or accounting fraud that deceives thousands of stockholders.

Most employees remain silent, typically out of fear of losing their positions. Others choose to risk their professional (and personal) well-being and come forward with the truth. They seek to make a difference by “blowing the whistle” on unethical conduct in the workplace.

About the Program

Our panel features those who summoned the courage to speak out when witnessing wrongdoing.  We will be joined by one of the most famous whistleblowers of our time, Enron’s Sherron Watkins and Jon Oberg, whose actions helped save billions of taxpayer dollars.  Also featured are experts in supporting whistleblowers and making sure their disclosures, and the risks they take, make a difference.

This event is the first stop in the Government Accountability Project’s 2014-2015 annual American Whistleblower Tour, which seeks to educate the public - particularly the future workforce - about the important role whistleblowers play in promoting government and corporate accountability. GAP's American Whistleblower Tour, by presenting the first-hand stories of historic whistleblowers who disclosed corporate fraud, will teach attendees:

  • what whistleblowing is – and isn't
  • the difficult challenges whistleblowers face when deciding to disclose wrongdoing
  • why whistleblowers must be honored and protected to maintain an effective democratic capitalistic society
  • how the current regulatory landscape both fosters and hinders whistleblower disclosures

About the Speakers

Featuring...

Jon Oberg, while working at the Department of Education as a researcher in 2003, discovered illegal payments to student loan lenders of federal tax dollars that department officials instructed him not to investigate further. On his own time, he researched the payments and reported them to Congress, which in 2004 ended the payments prospectively, saving billions of dollars. In 2007, Oberg sued the recipients under the False Claims Act. Three years later, the Department of Justice announced it had settled four of the cases for over $57 million.

Sherron Watkins, the former Vice President of Enron Corporation who alerted then-CEO Ken Lay in August 2001 to accounting irregularities within the company, warning him that Enron ‘might implode in a wave of accounting scandals.’  She has testified before Congressional Committees from the House and Senate investigating Enron’s demise.  Ms. Watkins has been lauded in the press for her courageous actions.  TIME magazine named Sherron, along with two others, Coleen Rowley of the FBI and Cynthia Cooper of WorldCom, as their 2002 Persons of the Year, for being “people who did right just by doing their jobs rightly.”  TIME magazine concluded that, “Democratic capitalism requires that people trust in the integrity of public and private institutions alike. As whistle-blowers, these three became fail-safe systems that did not fail. For believing—really believing—that the truth is one thing that must not be moved off the books, and for stepping in to make sure that it wasn't, they have been chosen by TIME as its Persons of the Year for 2002.”

With special guests...

Louis Clark, President and Corporate & Financial GAP President Louis Clark has been with the organization since 1977Accountability Director of GAP. Louis assumed the directorship of GAP in 1978, having first served as legal counsel for the organization.

As President, Louis serves as a spokesperson and public ambassador for GAP, and frequently negotiates with government and corporate officials about legal cases and social reform initiatives. Louis often meets with international delegations from all over the world in order to describe GAP's methodology, the laws that are needed to protect employees who speak up about problems, and how to use information to promote progressive social change. In his role as Corporate & Financial Accountability Director, Louis oversees numerous cases involving widespread financial fraud.

Jennifer M. Pacella is an Assistant Professor of Law at Baruch College's Zicklin School of Business.   Jennifer is also a member of the Curriculum Faculty Committee of the Government Accountability Project.  Her scholarship focuses on the structure and effectiveness of federal whistleblower programs, specifically in the securities law context, as well as the anti-retaliation protections and bounty rewards elements of these programs.  Prior to joining the Zicklin faculty, Jennifer served as a law clerk to Judge Julio M. Fuentes of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and practiced business law in Shearman & Sterling LLP’s New York office.

Jordan A. Thomas is an American attorney, and writer, speaker and media commentator on securities enforcement, corporate ethics, and whistleblower issues. He is a partner and Chair of the Whistleblower Representation Practice at Labaton Sucharow LLP (2011–present), where he represents whistleblowers reporting violations of the federal securities laws to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Prior to entering private practice, Thomas served as an Assistant Director and Assistant Chief Litigation Counsel in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement (2003–2011) and as a Trial Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice (1999–2003).   He began his legal career as a Judge Advocate General in the U.S. Navy (1995–1999).

About the Government Accountability Project

The Government Accountability Project is the nation's leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, GAP's mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. GAP's American Whistleblower Tour aims to educate the public – particularly university students – about the phenomenon and practice of whistleblowing.

Schedule

12:00 pm - Registration and lunch
12:45 pm - Panel Discussion

Registration

Complimentary pre-registration is required to attend this program. Register online, by phone or e-mail:

  1. Complete the online registration form
  2. Call us at 646-312-3231
  3. E-mail us at matthew.lepere@baruch.cuny.edu

Registration / More information about this event…

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