November 6, 2021

Dissenter Weekly: Colorado Kept Mental Patient 'Unconstitutionally Confined'

Plus, New York state expands whistleblower protections for workers

Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo (Photo from Colorado's state government website and in the public domain)



In this edition, the "Dissenter Weekly" returns after a month-long hiatus as a short podcast (10-15 minutes). There is both a video and an audio version.

The show starts with coverage of the state of New York, where whistleblower protection for workers was recently expanded.

Toward the end, Kevin covers the Colorado Mental Health Insitute at Pueblo and a whistleblower who alleged a patient was "unconstitutionally confined" and hospital staff who fought his continued confinement were threatened with termination.

He also includes a brief update on Julian Assange's extradition case at the end.

Audio podcast version of "Dissenter Weekly" (available on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify):

This Week's Stories


New York Expands Whistleblower Protection Law For Workers

A labor law was amended and signed by Governor Kathy Hochul. It goes into effect in January 2022 and will likely improve protections for workers who face retaliation by employers when they become whistleblowers. (Source)

Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Amendments To the False Claims Act

Legislation to expand protections in the False Claims Act, one of the oldest whistleblower laws in the United States, was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee at the end of October. The American Hospital Association has lobbied against the amendments, which would strengthen the ability of whistleblowers to challenge corporate fraud. (Source)

Texas Appeals Court Rejects Attorney General's Attempt To Block Whistleblower Lawsuit

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argued he was exempt from the state's whistleblower law because he is an elected official. A state appeals court recognized this would strip numerous employees in Texas of whistleblower protection if accepted. (Source)

Whistleblower Says Colorado Mental Hospital Kept Patient 'Unconstitutionally Confined'

The Gazette, a newspaper in Colorado Springs, reports that Erica Palmer, a psychologist at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo, has come forward as a whistleblower to allege officials at the state's primary mental hospital "unnecessarily and illegally blocked" the release of a man who had recovered. (Source)

EPA's Own Survey Shows Employees Fear Retaliation, Pressure To Alter Science

A majority of Environmental Protection Agency scientists surveyed by the agency in May indicated they are unable to “do their work knowing they are protected from intimidation or coercion to alter scientific data or findings.” (Source)