Eller v. Idaho State Police

The Idaho Supreme Court Protects Whistleblower Brandon Eller

On October 3, 2018, the National Whistleblower Center (“NWC”)  filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Brandon Eller, an Idaho State Police (“ISP”) detective who blew the whistle on the cover-up of another deputy’s dangerous actions. A crash reconstructionist, Eller testified that a fellow officer was negligent when he was involved in a fatal crash during a 911 call. When it became known that Eller had blown the whistle on a fellow deputy, he was subjected to severe retaliation including attacks on his character and retaliation on the job. The retaliation he suffered affected his career and his livelihood.

In its “friend-of-the-court” brief, the NWC argued that the Idaho Protection of Public Employees Act “must be interpreted broadly to fully compensate plaintiffs and thereby enhance responsible whistleblowing activity directed toward ensuring integrity in the operation of the public-sector workplace.”

Allowing the award of emotional distress damages under the Whistleblower Act to Eller (and other plaintiffs) facing the consequences which Eller has faced will more fully compensate for the actual damages suffered. It will also constitute an important step toward ensuring that responsible whistleblowers come forward with legitimate evidence of wrongdoing by government officials, notwithstanding the very real risk of receiving adverse treatment from those same and other government officials for doing so.

Read more about the brief filed by NWC in the Whistleblower Protection Blog here and here.

In a victory for whistleblowers, the Idaho State Supreme Court rejected a lower court’s decision to limit the amount of money awarded Brandon Eller for his bravery in blowing the whistle on the Idaho State Police.

The National Whistleblower Center has advocated for those who blow the whistle on fraud, waste, and abuse which endangers the lives of our men and women in uniform, and the integrity of our police and armed forces. While Brandon Eller blew the whistle on corruption in the Idaho State Police, Dr. Aaron Westrick blew the whistle on fraud by a company which manufactured bullet-proof vests for police. The Westrick story is one of perseverance and honor; read more about his case here. Additionally, check out the CBS show Whistleblower, which featured a one-hour special of Westrick here.

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