Thursday, September 12, 2019

Education Department threatens to suspend employee who provided The Post with budget data - The Washington Post

Education Department threatens to suspend employee who provided The Post with budget data - The Washington Post

Education Department threatens to suspend employee who provided The Post with budget data


The U.S. Education Department is proposing a five-day suspension for a budget analyst who provided information to The Washington Post about the Trump administration’s 2017 budget proposal before it was released, according to a letter sent to the employee. Her attorney says it is retaliation for whistleblowing.
Rebecca Delaney, an analyst in the Education Department’s Office of Finance and Operations since 2016, received a letter dated Aug. 30 from the director of the Budget Service telling her about the proposed suspension. The letter, which noted that she admitted to providing the information to the press, said Delaney knew the data was “subject to an embargo” and that it is “uncouth or unprofessional” to violate the embargo. It accused her of “conduct unbecoming a federal employee.”

The Education Department did not respond to requests for comment. Delaney declined to comment. The copy of the letter obtained by The Post has the name of the budget director redacted, but he is identified on the department website as Larry Kean. He did not respond to a request to comment.
Washington Post officials declined to comment.
Delaney’s attorney, Cathy Harris, said in a statement: “This is one of the starkest examples of direct retaliation for whistleblowing that I have seen. The Department of Education is threatening to suspend an employee for blowing the whistle, which is wholly protected under the law. The Department should be thanking Ms. Delaney for her courage, not retaliating against her for exercising her right to blow the whistle by contacting the press about what she saw as gross mismanagement by public officials.”
Harris has asked the U.S. Office of Special Counsel to issue a stay of any disciplinary action against Delaney, saying in a Sept. 5 letter: “It could not be more stark: the Department of Education charged that Ms. Delaney committed ‘conduct unbecoming a federal employee’ solely because she disclosed information to the press, and later to CONTINUE READING: Education Department threatens to suspend employee who provided The Post with budget data - The Washington Post

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