From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson on Monday called on the Social Security Administration to stop what he called retaliation against whistle-blowers demanding action on a federal official accused of writing sexual and racist descriptions about disability claimants in his hearing notes.
Since whistle-blowers at the Social Security’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review in Madison have spoken out about Pleuss’ notes, “it appears that the leadership in the Madison office has attempted to prevent further disclosures and identify employees who may be sharing information,” Johnson wrote in a letter Monday to Social Security Acting Commissioner Carolyn Colvin in Baltimore, on behalf of his Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee.
“The committee will not tolerate any efforts to silence or retaliate against SSA whistleblowers,” the Republican senator wrote.
In the wake of allegations of retaliation against whistleblowers at a scandal-plagued Social Security Administration office, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson is warning the agency that such actions will not be tolerated by his Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
“I ask that you immediately direct all SSA officials in the leadership chain of command for Madison (Office of Disability Adjudication and Review) hearing office to cease all attempts to identify officials who may be providing information to Congress or the Office of Inspector General, as well as any other potential retaliatory actions,” wrote Johnson, chairman of the Senate committee.
“The committee will not tolerate any efforts silence or retaliate against SSA whistleblowers.”
“Federal law protects the right of all federal employees to provide information to Congress,” Johnson wrote. “Specifically, the law states that ‘the right of employees, individually or collectively, to petition Congress or a member of Congress, or to furnish information to either house of Congress, or to a committee or member thereof, may not be interfered with or denied.’”
“SSA employees have the right to talk to Congress and to provide Congress with information without fear of retaliation or questions about their communications,” Johnson added.
Johnson also demands that the acting commissioner “produce all documents and communications concerning the administrative leave and other personnel actions against managers in the ODAR hearing office taken on or about August 12, 2016.”