‘American Whistleblower Tour’ coming to Auburn University Jan. 30

AUBURN – The Auburn University School of Accountancy has arranged for Auburn to be one of this year’s stops on the “American Whistleblower Tour: Essential Voices for Accountability.” A public panel discussion will take place Monday, Jan. 30, at 7:30 p.m. at 113A Lowder Hall and will feature prominent whistleblowers Sherron Watkins, speaking about the Enron scandal, and Kenneth Kendrick, speaking about the scandal involving the Peanut Corporation of America and Salmonella-tainted peanut butter.

The tour is a campaign of the Government Accountability Project, a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., whose stated mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms.

Watkins was vice president of corporate development at Enron. She is considered by many to be the whistleblower who helped to uncover the Enron scandal in 2001. She testified before congressional committees investigating Enron’s demise and was named one of TIME Magazine’s 2002 Persons of the Year.

Kendrick is the former assistant plant manager for the Peanut Corporation of America in Plainview, Texas. In 2008 and 2009, more than 700 people were affected by Salmonella-tainted peanut butter said to be traced to the company’s Georgia plant. Kendrick appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America and made statements about the company’s safety practices.

“The tour demonstrates to our students that an individual can stand up to corporate wrongdoing,” said DeWayne Searcy, director of the Auburn University School of Accountancy. “That it may not be easy, but it is right and just. Additionally, the tour shows our students the positives associated with being a person of integrity.”

“The tour offers our students and the public an opportunity to hear the stories of two very important whistleblowers,” said Sarah Stanwick, Taylor Associate Professor of Accounting. “Students will be able to hear firsthand about the courageous stand that these two individuals have made to speak out about what they believe is right. We are excited that they are sharing their stories with our students.”

A full description of the tour and more information about the Government Accountability Project can be found at www.WhistleblowerTour.org.

Contact: Sarah Stanwick, School of Accountancy, (334) 844-6205 (sstanwick@business.auburn.edu), or
Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)