MIAMI (CN) – The Department of Homeland Security has a “Cat’s Paw” program “in which actions are taken against whistleblowers, but are never traceable directly to the hands of the supervisor who influences the retaliations,” a former Customs officer says in a federal class action.
In a pro se complaint on behalf of DHS employees since 2007, Kenneth D. Humphrey seeks damages for conspiracy to obstruct justice, whistleblower violations, and damages under the False Claims Act.
“What’s called ‘Cat’s Paw’ is a common practice by supervision in CBP [Customs and Border Protection] and other federal agencies in which actions are taken against whistleblowers, but are never traceable directly to the hands of the supervisor who influences the retaliations,” the complaint states.
Humphrey claims he “witness[ed] repeatedly DHS/CBP’s leadership in acts of pushing fluffed meaningless statistics, retaliations, sexual favors advancements, derelict of duties, favoritism placements and assignments, abuse of personnel, misappropriate usage of government items, etc. Plaintiffs have no trust in whistle blowing because contrary to stated congressional activity, like the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, plaintiffs believe corruption runs all the way to the top of grievances review offices/agencies/attorney examiners. When the ‘Cat’s Paw’ practices are appeal – The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of only three whistleblowers out of hundreds of cases.”
Humphrey claims that in employee surveys “only just over four out of every 10 respondents of CBP stated that senior leaders promote honest, open, and trusted two-way sharing of communication and knowledge.”
He claims, “Only a little over three out of every 10 CBP responding officers think that promotions, awards or other recognitions are based on merit, or meaningful work settings functioning.”
Humphrey seeks an injunction and damages.