December 10, 2008


Some things have come to head today at work, and I'm really, really worried that I may end up going to jail.

Before I went to Oklahoma, my office started some practices that were a little questionable. Now before I go any further, it's not my company, just the local office where I work. When I returned from Oklahoma I started questioning their new practices and work flows. In October I pointed out how because of these flows could be causing us to violate state law and federal law. Things got worse and when I had proof that we were indeed violating law, I pointed it out to management, which they ignored.

In November when I had to approve the pay out of fines and penalties, I gave them reports and documentation of the various violations that were perpetuated due to their decisions and policies. My information was ignored and the decision was made to continue on with their existing, and non-working, policies and procedures.

I kept warning, advising and documenting everything for management, going up to the director level... and it was all ignored. Last Wednesday, in a review, one of the managers made a comment that we were doing something that we absolutely were NOT. At that point I kind of came unglued and in a rampage worthy of my being sent to sensitivity class again, I spilled the beans. Including making the statement that, "I've been warning you since September about this, and you all ignored me." Later that day, in another meeting about something completely unrelated, we were interrupted by another member of management questioning a couple of inquiries. A blatant lie was told and I came unglued again. This time I went off with enough force that I really think I scared the management in the office that I might do something drastic.

One of the managers made the comment, "If you knew this was happening and these policies wasn't working, don't you think as a supervisor you should have brought it to managements attention?" I don't think a nuclear explosion had the volatility as my response. I pointed out that I had spoken up since September, that I pointed it out in various meetings, e-mails and memos. It was all ignored or swept under the rug. Then I broke the bombshell that I had proof and documentation of it.

Since then it has been an never ending cycle of management higher and higher up getting involved and it's the same thing every time.

Today we had a huge meeting regarding this issue and the director involved made a comment regarding a new plan... which is just like the old one... to resolve the problem. This time I couldn't hold myself back at all and made the comment that if they enact that plan they may want to talk with the State's Attorney because we are going to have their office investigating us by the end of the year.

I even made a comment that, those that have spoken with me may find this shocking, "(this) is completely unethical. I can no longer stand by and watch as policies and procedures are enacted that violate every moral and ethic of my being. You all acknowledge that what is going on is wrong, yet you continue to do it in hopes of covering up what was already done. My morals and ethics demand that I do not participate in these policies and procedures that I know are resulting in blatant violations of the law." For those of you that don't know me personally, I tend to joke around that I have no morals or ethics.

I had a one on one meeting with the director and explained that I can no longer instruct my staff to continue following these policies and procedures and I will not. I left her office to go back to my desk to issue new instructions to my staff and gather documentation to cover my arse.

As I was doing so I discovered that a little report that they had me checking and told me to "Sign off on" every week wasn't for exactly what they told me. It was part of the record retention for Sarbaines-Oxley (SOx)

Now I had been signing off on these thinking they were one thing, but in reality they where something else. It's my name on these reports and for what they were intended, they were not exactly accurate. Now I'm worried that when the investigation begins, I may end up being prosecuted since it's my name on these reports and I can NOT produce on ounce of evidence that I was instructed incorrectly.

Whoever knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies, or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the investigation or proper administration of any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States or any case filed under title 11, or in relation to or contemplation of any such matter or case, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

Right now as I sit here drinking a bottle of whiskey trying to calm down, I'm worried that I may end up going to jail.

Posted by Contagion in Tales from the Work Place at December 10, 2008 09:23 PM | TrackBack

you could always be the whistleblower.....

Posted by: caltechgirl at December 10, 2008 10:20 PM

What a clusterfuck.

Caltech may have the right idea. Get your documentation, and take a drive down to either the State's Attorney or some other authority.

Step in, explain the situation to the SA. We know that you have tried to keep everything kosher. Worst case scenario, you have to get an immunity deal.

Posted by: Petey at December 11, 2008 12:00 AM

I'm with CalTechGirl dude.

Go Immediately to the Attorney Generals Office and any one else you can find as well

Posted by: BloodSpite at December 11, 2008 06:45 AM

Contact a lawyer first.

Not kidding, you need a lawyer and you need one right this minute.

Then go to the Attorney Generals.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at December 11, 2008 08:13 AM

If any thing call Oddy, maybe she can point you right.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at December 11, 2008 08:13 AM

With SO you can amend. Being a whistle-blower is hard and may not protect you, but legally may be the best course of action. You don't have proof of what you were instructed, but you do know when you found out that it wasn't what you thought it was. That should be enough. But as the above have stated, you need to get to the AG and get a lawyer pronto. You do not want to be in such an investigation - you want to be the guy with the proof (please tell me you have it at home), the one advising, not the one being investigated. Run, don't walk, to the AG. SO is serious shit.

Posted by: oddybobo at December 11, 2008 10:27 AM

Ditto to what everyone here said. Those who deserve to swing for this crap, should, but you shouldn't. Please get a lawyer & watch your back dude.

Posted by: Wes at December 11, 2008 12:42 PM

I think the operative phrase is "Knowingly". You did the things you did based on good faith that your employer was minding his p's and q's. You did not knowingly falsify records with intent o deceive. of course IANAL.

Posted by: ogq at December 11, 2008 01:00 PM

Dude, I am so sorry! Hubby's work went through this about a year ago (remember, you two are in the same business). Sox is not something to mess with....

.....they are looking for a fall guy- which is totally bogus because supervisors do not make the policies.

I agree with Oddy. Lawyer up, AG up.....
I'll be sending good thoughts your way.

Posted by: Rave at December 14, 2008 10:10 AM