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Article published December 19, 2000


Marion whistleblower needs help by Jan. 5

BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU

COLUMBUS - A judge has set a new deadline for the federal government to decide whether to intervene on behalf of a Toledo man seeking protection as an environmental whistleblower.

On Nov. 6, U.S. District Court Judge Edmund Sargus, Jr., gave the U.S. Department of Labor 30 days to make a decision in the case of Paul Jayko, an employee of the state Environmental Protection Agency.

He is the former site coordinator of the leukemia investigation in Marion.

Judge Sargus has set Jan. 5 as the new deadline, rejecting a request by the Justice Department for an indefinite deadline.

The state has appealed the decision and sued the federal government, arguing that Ohio has constitutional protection - referred to as "sovereign immunity" - against Mr. Jayko’s pursuit of whistleblower protection.

If the Department of Labor does not intervene on behalf of Mr. Jayko, he can no longer pursue his claims against the state of Ohio, ruled Judge Sargus, an appointee of President Clinton.


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