Klamath Water Users Association 

April 17, 2003




US closes whistleblower file

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) has determined that allegations made by a National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) whistleblower do not warrant further investigation and that the file for this case will be closed. NMFS biologist Michael Kelly alleged a violation of law, rule, or regulation and gross mismanagement by agency employees during the 2002 formal consultation on Klamath Project operations with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Kelly filed for protection under the federal Whistleblower Statute last year, in a move that was highly publicized by environmental advocates immediately after the lower Klamath River fish die-off.

In a March 5, 2003 letter to Kelly, OSC declined to take further action on Kelly’s claims, including:

 Kelly’s allegation that a there was a substantial likelihood that NMFS’s decision to adopt its Klamath River flow regime represented a violation of law, rule or regulation.
 His claim that the fish die-off that occurred last September provides the proof that NMFS engaged in “gross mismanagement”.
 Kelly’s charge that NMFS engaged in a “gross waste of funds”.

“After careful review of your comments and the materials previously submitted, and consideration of the issues discussed in our recent telephone conversations, we have determined that our original decision to close the case was warranted,” OSC stated in its letter to Kelly.

Environmentalist plaintiffs in PCFFA v. USBR have relied upon Kelly in their arguments, claiming that U.S. defendants do not address his allegations.


Klamath Water Users Association
2455 Patterson Street, Suite 3
Klamath Falls, Oregon 97603
(541)-883-6100 FAX (541)-883-8893 kwua@cdsnet.net


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