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How to Become a Bounty Hunter

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Current FBI Employee Reflects on Decade Following Whistleblower Complaints

Correction: The original headline read that Robert Kobus was a former FBI agent. He is currently employed by the FBI.
By Steve Neavling

When Robert Kobus blew the whistle on an FBI supervisor for allowing favorite employees to take off work during their birthday a decade ago, he found himself alone in an office in Lower Manhattan.

“You know, sitting on a deserted floor, you are basically a pariah,” Kobus told NPR. “My true friends stayed with me — the one, two that I had. But everybody else, they would avoid me like the plague.”

When Kobus asked for time off, his request went unaddressed.

The Justice Department later determined that Kobus was retaliated against for blowing the whistle, but it took nine years.

“This is a pattern,” says David Colapinto, a lawyer at the National Whistleblowers Center who worked on the Kobus case. “Robert’s case reflects how the FBI and the Department of Justice treat people who have the courage to come forward and report wrongdoing.”

Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley said he doesn’t like how the FBI handled a whistleblower.

“Whistleblowers should not have to fear retaliation for speaking up and they should not have to wait a decade for relief and they should not have to apply to Congress to see justice done,” Grassley says.


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