Associate Attorney General Defends DOJ’s Record With Whistleblowers

Tony West, the acting Associate Attorney General, claimed that the Justice Department is a “friend” of whistleblowers in his testimony before Capitol Hill regarding his nomination.  West noted that it was his leadership as Chief of the Civil Division that led to the filing of a greater number of whistleblower suits and greater recovery of taxpayer dollars than at any other time in history.  Specifically, West stated that the government recovered more than $11 billion in taxpayer funds during his three and half years as Civil Division chief.

West’s nomination as Associate Attorney General has come under scrutiny due to a controversy related to an agreement the Department of Justice had with the City of St. Paul regarding a whistleblower suit.  In exchange for not intervening in a whistleblower lawsuit in St. Paul, Minnesota, the Department of Justice expected the City of St. Paul to withdraw its appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in an unrelated disparate impact case.   Republicans have called this arrangement inappropriate.

Despite these allegations, West stated that under his leadership, the Department of Justice would continue to pursue qui tam cases and would “keep trying to set new records every year.”

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