A Call For Accountability, Competency, and Ethics in  the Department of Energy

The Experiences of DOE Safety Engineer Joseph P. Carson, Professional Engineer, National Society of Profes
sional Engineers, an unprecedented "Eight-Time Prevailing" whistleblower

Update November 2006:
For past three years, Joe has sought accountability from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC), which was created in 1989 for theprimary purpose of protecting federal employees from exactly what Joe hasexperienced. There has been an indisputable meltdown in legal ethics at OSC,implicating possibly hundreds of attorneys. This is detailed at There has been no Congressional oversight of this OSC function since the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994. The meltdown of legal ethics at OSC is an essential part of the culture of corruption in the federal government and puts us all an increased risk of a nuclear 9/11 as the federal employees OSC and its attorneys are failing to protect include some in the front lines in the war on terror.

Joseph P. Carson, P.E.; Karen Carson, RN, East Tn. Children’s Hospital, incoming member Knox County School Board; Rebeka Carson (9), A.L. Lotts; Doug Carson (13) Bachman Academy; T.J. Carson (15) Farragut High School

Joseph P. Carson is a licensed professional engineer (P.E.) and nuclear safety engineer at DOE. He is a decorated veteran who served as an officer in the nuclear navy for six years and later worked at several commercial nuclear power plants. He joined the Department of Energy (DOE) as a workplace and nuclear safety engineer in 1990. DOE is unique in Federal Government and nuclear industry in being self-regulating in worker and nuclear safety. As a P.E. and safety professional, Carson has a positive legal and ethical duty to blow the whistle, when necessary, to protect worker and public health and safety in DOE facilities.

Joe has been voicing concerns about safety and making allegations of whistleblower reprisal and other unlawful prohibited personnel practices in DOE since 1992. In his opinion, the years of litigation reduces to the following: Joe considers himself a member of the engineering profession employed by DOE; DOE considers him an employee it calls an engineer; the engineering profession has little, if any, cohesiveness to its code of ethics when offended by an employer of an engineer.

Joe has prevailed in numerous whistleblower-related decisions of the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). He has been disappointed to find that prevailing as a whistleblower does not mean, in DOE at least, that the underlying health and safety issues are objectively considered. His frank counsel to concerned safety professionals in DOE is to look the other way if you can live with yourself. Joseph Carson cannot live with himself having to give such dismal counsel to other members of his profession, so he keeps trudging on, hoping to contribute to positive changes in DOE, his profession of engineering, other safety professions, and the federal civil service

DOE is not a donut shop. It is the custodian of America's nuclear stockpile and nuclear weapons secrets. DOE's top overseer for its nuclear weapon material safeguards and security programs authorized, in writing, a personnel action against Joe later to be found unlawful reprisal. Consistent with DOE's inverse reward system, this official has been promoted several times since.

Consistent with Joe's allegations of unsafe and unhealthy conditions in DOE, Congress passed a law in 2000, the Energy Employee Occupational Illness Compensation Plan Act (EEOICPA), to provide a measure of compensation and health care to thousands of diseased, disabled, or prematurely deceased DOE workers or their survivors. President Clinton, in signing this legislation, apologized to these workers for their being put in harms way in DOE facilities, without their knowledge or adequate protection. About 70,000 claims have been filed under the EEOICPA and thousands of claims have been paid.
Joe is a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME and the American Nucear Society. He
also belongs to the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Joe believes his profession's lack of cohesiveness to its code of ethics contributed to the DOE sick worker disaster. He thinks it was an important factor in other engineering related mishaps and disasters such as the loss of the Columbia Space Shuttle, the August 2003 electrical blackout, and the rapid collapse of the World Trade Centers on 9/11, among others. Major engineering professional societies have yet to go on record that DOE offended the engineering profession and the public health and safety by its unlawful reprisal against him. While Joe does not take this personally (they have rarely, if ever, done so in other cases), he does think this lack of cohesiveness is an important (even if unstated) contributing factor to the DOE sick worker disaster and other engineering-related mishaps and disasters.

He welcomes comments on what the engineering profession ought to do when

1) an engineer alleges employment reprisal for adhering to the
profession's code of ethics,

2) an engineer is legally vindicated in those
allegations, and/or...

3) ...engineers are implicated in taking unlawful
reprisal against another engineer for his adhering to the profession
code of ethics.

Joe Carson and his family have suffered and sacrificed to defend his secular profession of engineering's code of ethics in his secular employment for faith-based reasons. As a Christian, he believes that "suffering for righteousness' sake" is right. Additionally, he believes that a Christian who is privileged to be a member of a recognized profession should, as a necessary outworking of their faith, model and advocate, individually and collectively, the trustworthy, ethical, competent, and accountable, practice of that profession. (While members of other faith traditions might agree with this reasoning, Joe does not wish to speak for them.)

As one result of this ordeal, he co-founded and now heads the Affiliation for Christian Engineers (ACE) an international, interdenominational, virtual, low-cost, high-value added, auxiliary, professional society for Christian Engineers. It is for Christian engineers who want to live out their faith by uplifting their profession and the public health, safety, and welfare it exists to serve.

Joseph P. Carson
10953 Twin Harbour Drive
Knoxville, TN 37934
Email jpcarson@tds.net