Paralegal Whistle Blower? – An update

Multiple sources are reporting on the U.S. Office of Special Counsel’s action regarding a whistleblower complaint by former USDoJ paralegal Tamarah Grimes, a case previously discussed here. This report is from the Associated Press through the Anniston Star:

MONTGOMERY — The U.S. Office of Special Counsel says complaints brought by a U.S. Department of Justice paralegal in the prosecution of former Gov. Don Siegelman were unsubstantiated. Tamarah Grimes, who worked on the team prosecuting the corruption case against Siegelman and HealthSouth founder Richard Scrushy, filed a complaint in 2007 under whistleblower protection laws.

She accused prosecutors of mismanagement, failure to report improper contact with jurors and initiating a criminal investigation against her in retaliation for filing an Equal Employment Opportunity complaint.

 A DOJ investigation rejected the accusations. In a Sept. 29 letter to President Barack Obama, Associate Special Counsel William E. Reukauf said the findings appeared to be reasonable, and the office has closed the case.

Grimes has called the DOJ report on her complaint one-sided and incomplete.

Of course, I have no special knowledge about this matter, so I can only report what I read. This certainly would not be the first DOJ report that was one-sided and incomplete, especially when the report reflects on DOJ or related agencies.

I suspect we will be hearing more on this. In any case, it is a good case to spark discussions on the difficulties paralegals face when confronted with unethical conduct by attorneys.

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  • Tamarah Grimes says:

    The OSC report dated 9-29-09 is particularly egregious in that its conclusions are based on DOJ’s internal investigation. The gist of the OSC report is, based upon information obtained from DOJ, in an investigation conducted by DOJ, we conclude that DOJ acted reasonably and within statutory limitations.
    No one has been appointed as Special Counsel since former Special Counsel Scott Bloch resigned under a cloud of controversy late last year. Thus, based upon the OSC reports, it would appear that the Office of Special Counsel is a rudderless organization where no one is willing to stick his or her neck out for fear of reprisal. After observing my fate and the fate of other whistleblowers, who could blame them. The irony is that the OSC is “the” whistleblower organization!
    None of this is likely to change unless the public demands change from the only entity with the authority to investigate – Congress. Congress has oversight authority over DOJ.
    Today my life and my career are in shambles for performing my duty as a federal employee, for telling the truth and speaking out. Tomorrow it could be anyone, for without accountability, there is no justice.

  • R. E. Mongue says:

    Thanks for your post, Tamarah. I do hope this all works out well for you in the end. While I try not to prejudge DOJ in this regard, I’ve gone through the process of government agencies investigating themselves too many times to take the DOJ report at face value.

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