Darrell Whitman, a former investigator for OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program, says his agency failed to investigate warnings from Wells Fargo employees in 2010.
Six years ago, two Wells Fargo employees filed whistleblower complaints with the federal government.
They sent their cases to the Department of Labor’s Whistleblower Protection Program, which is administered by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.
But an investigator who reviewed cases for the agency says no one actually investigated the complaints.
This revelation comes as the nation reels from an enormous Wells Fargo banking scandal. The San Francisco-based company was fined $185 million last month after employees opened two million phony bank accounts and credit cards to meet sales goals.
Now Darrell Whitman is breaking his silence to the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit, claiming if his agency had done its job, the bank’s widespread practice of opening fraudulent customer accounts could have been exposed and fixed years ago.
“I think it’s pretty obvious they don’t follow protocols,” Whitman said of OSHA. “You don’t do the job, that’s pretty close to dropping the ball, isn’t it?”
Whitman worked in the agency’s San Francisco office from 2010 to 2015. He says in May 2010, OSHA received two complaints from former Wells Fargo employees who claimed the company retaliated against them for raising red flags about the bank’s business practices.
Whitman says instead of investigating, the agency held the complaints for six months. He says in November 2010, after the two complainants decided to file federal lawsuits against Wells Fargo, his supervisors assigned him the cases simply to close them.
“They assigned it to me only for the purpose of dismissing the complaint,” he said.
According to OSHA policy, the agency is relieved of pursuing whistleblower cases when complainants head to court. But, Whitman says the agency should have started and completed the investigations before the whistleblowers filed their lawsuits.
Source: Former Federal Investigator Says Government Didn’t Investigate Wells Fargo Whistleblower Cases | NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Former-Federal-Investigator-Says-Government-Didnt-Investigate-Wells-Fargo-Whistleblower-Cases-397518261.html#ixzz4NavdiMn6