A federal whistleblower who spoke out to ABC15 and Congress about out-of-control waste and fraud inside a federal power agency has been re-assigned, raising concerns about potential retaliation.
Keith Cloud, chief security officer for the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), said he was being removed from his position, re-assigned to a remote location and cut off from his staff and email connection.
WAPA officials declined to comment for this story. A spokesperson wrote the agency doesn’t comment on ongoing personnel matters.
“(A senior WAPA executive) sat me down and said he was re-assigning me to unspecified duties at the electric power training center,” Cloud said.
While on a break, Cloud spoke to ABC15 from inside his truck parked at a WAPA training facility. Cloud said workers at the site were unaware of his re-assignment and didn’t have a specific work space.
Cloud also was told he is now a part of an internal investigation, though officials wouldn’t tell him whether or not he was the target of the probe.
Last month, ABC15 aired a series of reports that highlighted out-of-control waste, fraud and abuse inside the agency. Cloud sat down for an extensive interview to talk about the problems.
Cloud and his security team investigated the abuse and said top officials curbed their investigations and balked at notifying outside law enforcement.
WAPA officials dispute those allegations.
However, the House Oversight Committee and the Department of Energy of Inspector General are also investigating the waste, fraud and abuse. Congress has also raised questions about retaliation against whistleblowers, including Cloud, within WAPA.
Congressional investigators are currently conducting interviews.
Contact ABC15 Investigator Dave Biscobing at firstname.lastname@example.org.