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Whistleblower Protection Falls Short

San Francisco’s Civil Grand Jury released a report in June that concluded that the city’s whistleblower protection ordinance — which is supposed to protect people who report government wrongdoing — doesn’t protect people who report government wrongdoing.

The jurors — a group of 19 residents who serve a year on the panel to investigate municipal matters and issue reports — said that the current ordinance only covers “those who blow the whistle through approved channels within city government. Those who disclose government wrongdoing to the news media, or to outside authorities … are not protected.” They also faulted the system for only covering a restricted number of activities and for providing “no substantial remedy to victims of retaliation.”

The jury recommended that the Board of Supervisors, the mayor, and the San Francisco Ethics Commission expand whistleblower protection.

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