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Orange County, California

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John Bisnar
John Bisnar
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To Whistle-BLOW or not ?-That is the Question

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If you talked to Charlcie Woodruff, nursing director at the McLennan County Jail, she would tell you that being a whistle-blower is the right thing to do, even though Charlcie was placed on administrative leave from her job in Waco, Texas when she did just that .

Charlcie accepted the nursing director position a little over six months ago, and only after County officials promised her that jail conditions would improve. Since Charlcie accepted the position she has continually implored County officials about the dangerous conditions at the jail, begging them to address the fact that people are ‘dying or going to die’, according to her attorney. Charlcie even filed a formal memo on March 1st addressed to the sheriff’s office administrators, in which Charlcie indicated, “I would again like to stress to you the dire situation of the medical services division.”

Going even further in her advocacy of better medical treatment for county inmates, Woodruff attended a legislative session in Austin on March 6th to report unsafe medical conditions for the inmates, and better protection for nurses who are operating at a severe disadvantage when attempting to prioritize the needs of their patients who may be belligerent and/or intoxicated or psychotic due to being off of their medication for several days before the nurses encounter them.

As it turns out, Charlcie may have a very powerful person on her side, Texas Governor Rick Perry announced on March 15th that the Board of Texas Youth Commission will work on, and improve a plan to tackle that agency’s medical services problems and hiring a guard with a history of sexual abuse, after a whistle-blower came forward. After the Board finishes this task they will all resign. Texas lawmakers also moved to fire all six of the board members .

Who will protect those who can’t protect themselves? Prison is for punishment, no doubt, but it is also a place for rehabilitation, and inmates deserve their meds and basic medical attention.

Whistle-blowers have special protections under our laws. In some cases they have rights to significant financial recoveries. Contact me for a free, confidential consultation, if you are aware of a wrong that needs to be corrected, especially fraud on the government or corporate wrongdoing.