September 1, 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) - A judge has declared a mistrial in the case of a watchdog group accused of violating federal law when it shared a whistleblower settlement with a government economist 14 years ago.
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly made the call Monday after the eight jurors in the civil case could not come to a unanimous verdict. The Justice Department claimed that the Project on Government Oversight and then-government economist Richard A. Berman had violated a ban on supplementing the salary of an executive branch employee.
At issues was POGO's nearly $400,000 check to Berman in 1998 for his work exposing oil companies' underpayment of royalties to the federal government.
The case has dragged on for a decade. Two previous government victories were reversed on appeal.
Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.