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FLEOA Rebukes EPA for Firing Veteran

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NOVEMBER 14, 2011

FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS ASSOCIATION REBUKES EPA FOR FIRING VETERAN BEFORE VETERANS’ DAY

Washington, DC - Today, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) lambasted the EPA for terminating a highly decorated Vietnam Veteran and Annapolis graduate after he blew the whistle regarding agency personnel’s alleged abusive practices. According to FLEOA, the EPA shamefully engaged in a cover-up regarding allegations brought forward by Dr. Richard Hammer, a 48 year public servant and Vietnam veteran who was employed by the EPA as a research scientist. While the agency failed to address the allegations raised by Dr. Hammer, a former Marine, they retaliated against him by firing him and leaving him without any health insurance just days before Veterans’ Day.

During the past four years, EPA officials allegedly marginalized, belittled and harassed Dr. Hammer after he repeatedly spoke out against agency personnel’s waste, fraud and abuse. As a result, Dr. Hammer endured a significant amount of physical and mental stress that severely impacted his health. In June 2011, Dr. Hammer filed a formal EEO complaint after sustaining years of retaliation and enduring a hostile work environment. Less than two years prior, the agency agreed to bring in outside investigator Dr. Peter Maida to look into the allegations raised by Dr. Hammer. In spite of Dr. Hammer’s filing two Freedom of Information Act requests, and a Privacy Act request for access to the investigative report, EPA continues keep Dr. Maida’s findings a secret.

"I am appalled by EPA’s egregious lack of transparency, as well as their unconscionable treatment of an honorable United States veteran,” stated Jon Adler, FLEOA National President. "After Dr. Hammer dedicated 48 years of his honorable life to our great nation, EPA decided to dishonor him by terminating him and leaving him without health insurance on Veterans’ Day. How can EPA be expected to protect our environment when they can’t protect an honorable veteran and whistle blower from being retaliated against?” added Adler.

FLEOA is asking the Inspector General and the Congressional oversight committees to investigate this matter.