Fri, Jul 20, 2007
Worker Describes Himself as a Whistleblower
trying unsuccessfully to convince the Federal Aviation
Administration and his employer of what he contends were inadequate
inspection of parts, a former Boeing quality control inspector took
matters into his own hands - or, rather, his own computer.
Gerald Lee Eastman is accused of illegally downloading some
320,000 pages of sensitive company documents and storing them on
his home computer. He's been charged with 16 counts of computer
trespass, according to the Associated Press.
He is facing anywhere from three and a half years to nearly five
years in prison if convicted on all counts, said Dan Dohonoe,
spokesman for the King County prosecutor's office in Kent, WA.
Eastman contends he is a
whistleblower and has shared some of the information with
reporters. He had been employed with Boeing for 18 years before
being fired last year.
He said he told police he didn't feel Boeing or the FAA handled
the concerns to his satisfaction. Boeing says it encourages
employees to voice safety concerns.
"We have processes that look at any kind of safety or any
quality issues that people raise within the company," Boeing
spokesperson Tim Neale.
"It's a pretty robust process. Those things are not ignored. We
take them seriously."
Eastman entered a plea of 'not guilty' at his arraignment
Tuesday and told reporters he was "disappointed" criminal charges
were being brought against him.
"I'm surprised they would side with Boeing against the people's
interest," Eastman said.
"Boeing is trying to silence other people and keep them from
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