WASHINGTON – The Office of Special Counsel has found a “substantial likelihood of wrongdoing” by management at Federal Correctional Institution Dublin in northern California for failing to address asbestos and mold contamination complaints that were raised by the American Federation of Government Employees.
AFGE Local 3584 President Edward Canales, Secretary-Treasurer Susan Canales, and Vice President Jose Lau all filed whistleblower complaints with OSC earlier this year after management failed to resolve the workplace contamination issues brought forward by the local. Following a review of the information provided by the union, OSC has requested that the Attorney General Merrick Garland investigate the charges and submit its report within 60 days.
“We emphasize that, while OSC has found a substantial likelihood of wrongdoing based on the information you submitted in support of your allegations, our referral to the Attorney General for investigation is not a final determination that the allegations are substantiated,” OSC Attorney Leslie Gogan wrote in April 7 letters to each local officer. “This remains an open matter under investigation until the agency’s final report is forwarded to the President and Congress.”
Concerns about toxic exposure to asbestos and mold inside the 48-year-old, low-security prison for female inmates were raised by the union repeatedly but ignored by management. The Justice Department also is investigating allegations of sexual abuse of inmates at the facility.
“Management’s failure to address unsafe and dangerous working conditions at FCI Dublin has put the health and safety of both employees and inmates at considerable risk,” Canales said. “I’m pleased that the Office of Special Counsel has found our complaint credible enough to refer it to the Justice Department for investigation.
“We look forward to the outcome of this investigation, which we hope will result in the unsafe conditions being remedied and appropriate disciplinary actions being taken against the managers who failed to act.”