February 26, 2012
It feels like a mystery novel: political corruption in a government agency, the CEO convicted of a felony. A late night search with a flashlight reveals a cryptic journal entry: "Got the secret documents out." A top executive blows the whistle, gets fired and sues, then gets accused of sexual dalliances. No local press even covers the trial, and then the jury gets the verdict wrong.
But it is no novel; it is the real life story of Jim Long's whistleblower lawsuit against North Dakota's Workforce Safety Insurance division. While the jury deliberated over whether or not Long had legally achieved whistleblower status, the most significant news that came out of that trial is the fact that the state of North Dakota has no process to investigate itself.