At any given time, a person working in their professional capacity may come to glean information or witness an event that crosses either an ethical or a legal line. It is at these times that people must make critical choices. One choice they have is to remain silent and do nothing. Another choice they have is to expose the wrongdoing. This puts them in the category of being a whistleblower.
Since 1980, the State of Michigan has had its Whistleblower Protection Act in effect. The spirit of this law aims to make people feel safe about coming forward with reports of illegal, illicit or unethical behavior in the workplace. It also aims to protect them against any negative or retaliatory actions that a colleague or employer may attempt to engage in as one way of getting back at the whistleblower for blowing their cover.
One man who was the director of the museum at Michigan State University has filed a lawsuit alleging that he has been illegally retaliated against. The man assumed the director role in the summer of 2017 and realized a budget discrepancy of $300,000. The new director disclosed his findings to authorities and that spurred an audit, the results of which were provided in the spring of 2019. The audit found that former museum director and his wife, who was the curator, used museum funds designated for graduate students for their own travel and that the couple leveraged museum money to further their own interests rather than the interests of the museum.
In February of this year, the director was suspended for one month.