Relief Ordered for FDA “Regulatory Review Officer” Fired for Blowing the Whistle on Unsafe Breast Cancer Detection Device
Washington, D.C. October 19, 2010. The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) allowed a stay requested by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel on behalf of a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) whistleblower, Paul T. Hardy. Under the provisions of the Whistleblower Protection Act, this stay should result in Hardy’s immediate reinstatement into federal service after his managers at the FDA orchestrated his termination on October 9, 2011.
The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) requested a stay of Hardy’s termination on October 7, 2011 because it had “reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. Hardy” was subjected to retaliation by the FDA in “violation” of the Whistleblower Protection Act.
The OSC explained that Mr. Hardy’s “disclosures raised issues related to exposing the general population to unwarranted radiation exposure and ineffective cancer screening devices.” The OSC stated that Hardy’s whistleblowing “evidenced a substantial and specific danger to public health and safety” and “it is appropriate to afford Mr. Hardy whistleblower protection so as to favor the disclosure and correction of improper acts by management officials of HHS/FDA.”
Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblowers Center and one of Mr. Hardy’s attorneys, stated as follows:
The Office of Special Counsel did the right thing. They stood up and demanded due process for Paul T. Hardy. The FDA’s practice of firing whistleblowers who resist industry pressure to approve hazardous drugs and devices must stop. The OSC’s request to stay these abusive practices is a critical first step in fixing the retaliatory culture that pervades upper management at the FDA. We hope that OSC will continue its investigation into the FDA and order relief for the other whistleblowers who lost their jobs after they exposed substantial and specific dangers to public health and safety.
The National Whistleblowers Center is calling on the American public to demand that the FDA and Public Health Service stop retaliating against whistleblowers.