Whistleblower Fired for Exposing Truth/Corrupt Government Contractor By Yolanda Holmes
Navy performed limited background checks on Thompson and Salvatore Carabetta when project was granted. Shaw Group and Carabetta were feuding during project, company rejected warnings from whistle-blower John Jack, costs escalated and components of houses were downgraded without Navy approval. Navy couldn't get documentation out of American Eagle, Navy didn't act quickly on information from John Jack.
Principal-agent theory. In this time of ever more scarce government resources, the idea that one level of government can mandate the activities and therefore resource usage of another may seem counter-intuitive. Taken together with the politics-administration dichotomy, it would appear that civil servants have little control over what they do on a daily basis or how they are allowed to do their jobs. In reality, though, the bureaucrat signals the elected official in a number of ways about his or her preferences when it comes to methods of serving their clients, the public receiving the benefits of that agency’s activities (Lang, 2005, p.295). And elected officials similarly signal the bureaucrats. The challenge, though, comes from the many competing influences on the bureaucrat, surrounded by competing viewpoints and therefore differing directions to follow. Learning how to successfully navigate this complicated web of government level influence is a major task for public administrators! The company in charge, American Eagle, was a newly formed consortium of the Shaw Group, a government contracting giant, and Carabetta Enterprises Inc., led by Salvatore Carabetta of Connecticut. American Eagle was managed by Kathryn Thompson of Dallas Films Media Group. (2009, June 30). As the months progress, John Jack a project manger with American Eagle says he kept detailed records. By that point, his estimates were showing that if allowed to progress, cost overruns for the Seattle project would amount to $28,613.812 million. Jack says his continual attempts to get his superiors at American Eagle to listen were ignored. Then in February 2006, while still employed by American Eagle, he decided to take a new tactic. He called the Navy. Surely, he believed, they would want to put to a stop to the overruns. He called his counterpart in the Navy. They met in February over at the new model home. They were sitting in her truck and he handed her some documents that showed what American Eagle was up to. Films Media Group. (2009, June 30). John Jack was asked point blank, “How do we stop this?” And John replied, “You need to hold American Eagle to the terms and conditions originally agreed.” This moment in February 2006 is a very key step for John Jack. He went from being an American Eagle, director of a project, to being a whistleblower within American Eagle going to the Navy and telling them that money was being wasted or who knows what was happening to the money and that the project was in trouble. When he reported this to the Navy, you would expect them to immediately halt everything on this project and turn every stone. They did not really do that. In the process John Jack was going to be fired in two weeks by American Eagle. Before he was fired, he started gathering documents. He made copies of every document that he had, and started taking them with him: all his, emails, letter, change orders, tens of thousands of different correspondents here and there.
John Jack filled a federal whistleblower lawsuit against American Eagle. He also turned his information over to the U.S. Justice Department hoping to convince them to join him in suing on behalf of the Navy. The charge: American Eagle had illegally overbilled the Navy. Under the law, if the suit was a success, John Jack would receive a percentage of any financial settlement. And then for a year and a half, he went silent. The result of...
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