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Trust
BLM CIO threatened with demotion in Cobell case


The chief information officer of the Bureau of Land Management was threatened with demotion for coming forward about security weaknesses at her agency.

Four days after providing a declaration that outlined some weaknesses, Ronnie Levine was given a negative job rating for the first time in her career. She nonetheless went to testify in the Cobell v. Norton trial and gave information that could be "very adverse to the Secretary," according to a court motion.

As her time on the stand was wrapping up, Levine was told by a superior that she was going to be transferred. "I didn't have a choice," she testified, according to a recently unsealed transcript.

The transfer has since been taken "off the table for now," Levine later said. But the Cobell plaintiffs say she was a victim of retaliation and want top Interior Department officials sanctioned for their conduct.

Get the Story:
Interior officials accused of covering up IT security flaws (Government Computer News 8/1)
Interior threatens whistle-blower (Federal Computer Week 7/29)

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton - http://www.indiantrust.com
Cobell v. Norton, Department of Justice - http://www.usdoj.gov/civil/cases/cobell/index.htm

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