Wednesday, June 28, 2006
House Committee Sets Hearing in Wake of Ceballos Decision
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The House Committee on Government Reform has scheduled a hearing for tomorrow morning regarding the recent Supreme Court decision holding that a Los Angeles deputy district attorney had no First Amendment right to openly accuse a police officer of lying about a case.
The hearing, entitled, “What Price Free Speech?: Whistleblowers and the Ceballos Decision,” is to address the impact of the 5-4 ruling in Garcetti v. Ceballos, 04–473.
The high court held that Deputy District Attorney Richard Ceballos had no First Amendment protection against being demoted for authoring an internal memorandum accusing a law enforcement officer of serious misrepresentations and disclosing the memo to a defense attorney. Ceballos will be among those testifying before the committee.
The stated purpose of the hearing is “to understand fully the Ceballos decision and how – if at all – this decision affects statutory whistleblower protections.”
The Government Reform Committee has approved two bipartisan bills, H.R. 1317 and H.R. 5112, that would extend whistleblower protections. H.R. 1317 would protect certain disclosures by federal employees regarding evidence of waste, abuse, or gross mismanagement.
H.R. 5112, introduced by committee Chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., would prohibit an employee of a covered agency from being discriminated against for disclosing certain information regarding the agency to certain members of Congress, officials of executive agencies, the Department of Justice or the inspector general.
Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company