Farshid Roumi, a Caltech scholar, was allegedly fired for whistleblowing. Roumi worked in Pasadena-based Caltech’s engineering and applied science division. In 2017, Roumi filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court alleging retaliation and wrongful termination.
Roumi claims that he was fired after he exposed misappropriation of funds from the Department of Energy. Superior Court Judge Monica Bachner is presiding in the downtown Los Angeles Stanley Mosk Courthouse courtroom.
Roumi finished his doctoral dissertation at Caltech in 2010, “Shape Changing Transformations: Interactions with Plasticity and Electrochemical Processes.” He currently works as the Chief Executive Officer of his own company, Parthian Energy.
The whistleblower retaliation lawsuit Roumi filed is not the first that Caltech will face. In 2014, a Caltech professor, Sandra Troian, filed a complaint alleging retaliation after she provided the F.B.I. with information about a researcher who released restricted data to Israel and then made it public. Troian alleged that retaliation followed in the form of false accusations of research misconduct, prevention of her participation in campus events, and being denied over $1 million in grant funding.
Caltech’s official policy clearly prohibits retaliation. To quote policy, Caltech “prohibits retaliation against an individual who makes a good faith disclosure of suspected wrongful conduct.” The Institute also maintains whistleblower hotlines online or by phone.
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