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Wiki Leaks and Whistleblowers: Why Private Information Goes Public

Ask an average person to name a whistleblower and they’re likely to think of ‘private citizens’ like Erin Brokovich, Karen Silkwood, and Jeffrey Wigand or journalists like Carl Berstein and Bob Woodward.  These red, white and blue American whistleblowers have been portrayed in Academy Award-winning movies as admirable people who had the courage to reveal wrongdoing in workplaces and government agencies in a spirit of justice.  

But are there other motivations that drive people to release sensitive documents and information that bring down companies and governments?  I believe the answer is yes.  Fame is certainly a motivator...and so is vengeance.  Employers in the private and public sectors that stubbornly refuse to acknowledge the link between employee engagement and corporate security are likely to find themselves the victims of leaks. 

Leslie Johnson Barred from Prince George's County Council Panel

Leslie Johnson Barred from Prince George's County Council Panel

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) - The Prince George's County Council has barred newly elected member Leslie Johnson from serving on any committees while she is under federal investigation.

Council chair Ingrid Turner said Tuesday that the measure was taken "to avoid any appearance of impropriety."

Johnson will still be allowed to attend committee meetings and vote on bills. Council members say the county charter doesn't allow them to deny her all voting rights.

Johnson and her husband, former County Executive Jack Johnson, were arrested last month on charges including bribery, conspiracy and extortion involving real estate developers. Leslie Johnson was sworn into the city council Monday despite requests from five council members that she forgo the oath of office.

6th Grader Dies at Prince George's County School

6th Grader Dies at Prince George's County School

FORT WASHINGTON, Md. (AP) — A Prince George's County elementary school is mourning the death of a sixth-grade student.

The acting principal at J. Frank Dent Elementary in Fort Washington issued a statement Monday, saying the student had died but that the death was not a result of any injury sustained at the school.

The student was not identified.

Prince George's County fire department spokesman Mark Brady says rescuers were dispatched to the school Monday morning after the student suffered some kind of medical emergency. Medics performed CPR and took the student to a hospital.

Grief counselors were called to the school.

Police Seek Assistance in Locating Critical Missing Male David Beeson

The Prince George’s County Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in locating a missing 58 year-old male who was last seen near his residence in Chillum, Maryland.

On November 8, 2010, at approximately 8:00 a.m., David Beeson left an assisted living home located in the 6400 block of 8th Avenue and has not been seen or heard from since.           

Beeson is a white male with a light complexion.  He is approximately 5’8” and weighs about 150 pounds.  Beeson has grey hair and no longer has a beard as shown in the attached picture.  Beeson suffers from dementia, schizophrenia, and hypertension and is in need of his medication.   

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of David Beeson is asked to call the Prince George's County Police Department’s District I Investigative Section at (301) 699-2601.

13 Year Prince George's County Police Veteran Indicted by Grand Jury on 13 Counts

Prince George's County State’s Attorney Glenn F. Ivey today announced that Juan Diego Carter, 36, of Bowie, Maryland was indicted by a Prince George’s County grand jury late yesterday, Tuesday, October 26, 2010, on 13 counts.

Carter is charged with:

  • Six counts of misconduct in office
  • Three counts of theft over $500.00
  • Three counts of theft under $500.00
  • One count of aggregate theft scheme

If convicted, Carter faces up to 10 years in prison.

“These are serious charges and we look forward to prosecuting this case,” said State’s Attorney Glenn F. Ivey.

Natasha Pettigrew’s Mother Will Take Her Place as Green Party Senate Candidate

Kenniss Henry, mother of deceased Green Party Senatorial candidate Natasha Pettigrew, filed her certificate of candidacy Monday afternoon to fill the nomination left vacant by the death of her daughter last week. Pettigrew was bicycling along the shoulder of Route 202 in Prince George's County when she was hit early last Sunday morning by an SUV. She died last Monday night from injuries sustained in the accident.

The party's Coordination Council unanimously approved Henry's nomination on Sunday and has submitted nomination papers on her behalf. "The Maryland Green Party is grateful to Natasha's mother Kenniss Henry for filling the vacancy left by Natasha's untimely passing", said Brian Bittner, Co-Chair of the Maryland Green Party.

Md. IRS Officer Pleads Guilty In Fraud Scheme

(AP)- A former Internal Revenue Service officer has pleaded guilty to unlawfully accessing 12 taxpayer accounts in a tax fraud scheme.

Forty-five-year-old Mark Hunt of Baltimore faces as up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for unauthorized disclosure of information.

Prosecutors say Hunt wore IRS identification and attended meetings with the owner of a tax preparation service and potential clients between 1999 and 2004. He was paid to access 12 of the clients' IRS accounts to obtain confidential taxpayer information so the business owner could prove to his clients that he had a contact inside the IRS.

Hunt is scheduled for sentencing in January 2011.