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Department of Education Fraud

Sacramento, CA: (Apr-28-08) A whistleblowers lawsuit was brought against the state Department of Education, alleging that corruption in a program that handed out money to community-based organizations, caused money to reach organizations that didn't exist. The whistleblower, James Lindberg, stated that he suffered retaliation after he reported corruption and fraud to then-Superintendent Delaine Eastin.

The suit centered on a program that handed out money to community-based organizations between 1995 and 2000 to teach English and citizenship to recent immigrants. Lindberg said that some of the schools that got grant money didn't even exist. A 20-year state worker, Lindberg claimed that when he and others reported $11 million in misappropriations to Eastin, she ignored them. Then he was transferred to a job with no duties, leading to stress that he said triggered two heart attacks and put him in a wheelchair.

Court papers reveal that a jury awarded whistle-blower James Lindberg $7.6 million, which with interest increased to $8.6 million. Sources familiar with the negotiations stated that Lindberg's first jury trial in 2002 led to a $4.6 million verdict. The department appealed, and the case was sent back for another trial. But that jury awarded Lindberg $3 million more. In a recent development in the case, the seven year old suit was settled with Lindberg receiving $4.25 million from the state Department of Education. [SACRAMENTO BEE: CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SETTLES WHISTLE-BLOWER SUIT FOR $4.25 MILLION]

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Published on May-8-08


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