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Mon, Oct 01, 2007

Boeing Worker Claims He Was Fired For Whistleblowing

Says Planemaker Not Compliant With SOX Guidelines

Nicholas Tides lost his job at Boeing last Friday... and he says it had everything to do with a conversation he had with the Seattle (WA) Post-Intelligencer earlier this year.

Tides talked with the paper in July, regarding an investigative report by the paper into allegations the company failed to properly safeguard its computer systems against manipulation and fraud. The problems were discovered during a mandated audit, as called for by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

While acknowledging it spoke with Tides regarding the SOX story, the P-I would not confirm its report was based specifically on any information given by the information technology auditor. Boeing maintains it is fully complaint with Sarbanes-Oxley standards.

Tides told the paper Sunday he was notified earlier in the week he was being investigated... and that he was not allowed to discuss allegations with any other workers. The St. Louis-based worker also shared his concerns with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The P-I states it spoke with "dozens" of employees and contractors in researching the July report... and that many feared they would lose their jobs because of it. A representative of the planemaker told the paper at that time Boeing would focus on fixing problems, not on retribution against whistleblowing employees.

That wasn't the case, Tides says. He claims managers began treating him badly after he began to raise concerns about the company's self-auditing practices.

"Everyone who raises concerns is retaliated against," Tides said. "There's no way in the world that I expected to lose my job when all I am trying to do is save the company."

A spokesman for Boeing told the paper Friday night it had no comment on personnel matters.

"We have very clear policies and procedures regarding the release of information outside of the company. Our employees know what they are, and they are expected to follow them," said Tom Downey, Boeing's senior vice president for communication.



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