Score one for whistleblowers


A federal whistleblower will finally get a settlement from the agency that fired him four years ago. Former BLM staffer Earle Dixon, who was in charge of cleanup at the abandoned Yerington copper mine in Nevada, says he was fired in October 2004 after one year of work for informing local residents and the media of radioactive contamination at the mine. He accused the BLM, the State of Nevada and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of endangering the community by not notifying residents of the contamination (see our story "Nevada BLM cleans out cleanup project manager"). 

In October 2005, a federal judge ordered the BLM to pay Dixon a year of back wages, plus $10,000 in damages. The agency appealed that ruling; now, the Labor Department has just upheld the judgment.  Dixon will get $180,000 in back pay, benefits, moving expenses and court costs.

For more coverage about whistleblowers, see Braving the Political Winds, Old but Faithful, Truth really is no defense, An EPA staffer fights to the end, Park police chief canned for candidness, and  Klamath whistleblower throws in the towel.