The whistle-blower whose allegations form the basis for a Department of Justice lawsuit against the Gallup polling company made bizarre requests at work, made coworkers nervous and said he was a “devout Marxist,” a senior Gallup official told The Daily Caller.
In mid-August, the DOJ announced it was joining a lawsuit former Gallup staffer Michael Lindley filed in 2009. Lindley alleges that Gallup filed false claims with the federal government on its contracts with the Department of State, the U.S. Mint and other federal agencies.
According to the Gallup official, Lindley worked at the polling firm from Feb. 25, 2008 until July 24, 2009. Before working at Gallup, Lindley was a field organizer in Council Bluffs, Iowa, for then-Sen. Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.
In his now-DOJ-backed lawsuit, Lindley says his “performance record” while working at Gallup “was exemplary.” Lindley also says his performance at Gallup was “outstanding” and that he was “awarded the maximum pay raise of the employees who were in his ‘entering class.'”
A senior Gallup official told TheDC that Lindley’s claim of being a stellar employee couldn’t be further from the truth.
“Co-workers stopped talking to him because they feared he was recording their conversations,” the official added.
At one point, the Gallup official said, Lindley “made a two million dollar calculation error on a costing spreadsheet.” Lindley also wanted to “work remotely from Brazil” but was “told no.”
“He became angry about this,” the official added.
The same official told TheDC that Lindley “became sullen and angry” when Gallup refused his request to be “paid the same as the managing partner of the Government Division” — a “raise of several hundred thousand dollars.”
Though it’s not in his legal complaint, Lindley has also said he was named Gallup’s “Rookie of the Year.” Lindley’s lawyers have touted that “Rookie of the Year” statement in press releases. Associated Press reporter Pete Yost and the Washington Post’s Lisa Rein, among others, printed it unchallenged.
But no such award exists at The Gallup Organization.
“We have no such award on a company wide basis,” the senior Gallup official told TheDC, adding that it “might have been something in a small group or something a supervisor said to him, but definitely not a company award.”
The official added that Lindley allegedly described himself to a one-time co-worker as a “devout Marxist.”
Lindley also charges that he was terminated from employment on July 24, 2009, one day after he threatened to report the contents of his allegations against Gallup to the DOJ. According to his lawsuit, he said he told a senior Gallup official on July 23, 2009 “that if Gallup was not going to report these issues to the government, then he would report them to the Department of Justice himself.”
The next day, Lindley says in his lawsuit, he was told “that Gallup was terminating his employment effective immediately” — a decision, according to Lindley, made by Gallup Chief Counsel Steve O’Brien.
According to Lindley’s lawsuit, during a meeting shortly after he was fired, “O’Brien first claimed it was for performance reasons, which plaintiff responded was unlikely given that Gallup had lauded him for his outstanding performance during his first year.”
“O’Brien next claimed Gallup was firing plaintiff because he had supposedly refused a request to retrieve some documentation from Gallup’s computer system to assist Gallup in responding to a procurement ethics survey,” the lawsuit continues.
“Plaintiff responded that he had in fact done everything he could to find such documentation, but that he found that the documentation had been deleted from Gallup’s computer system, and he had immediately informed his superiors of that fact. Finally, O’Brien admitted unambiguously the real reason that Gallup had fired plaintiff, stating: ‘When you start talking about going to the Department of Justice, I don’t trust you anymore.'”
The senior Gallup official, though, said Lindley’s termination went differently. That official told TheDC that Lindley “said he wanted to be fired so he wouldn’t have to pay back his relocation costs to the company.”
Lindley allegedly “said his manager would be doing him a favor if she fired him.”
Neither Lindley’s lawyers nor a representative for Holder’s DOJ responded to requests for comment in response to these charges.
The allegations from the senior Gallup official come on the heels of the release of documents showing that the federal agencies that contracted with Gallup praised the pollster — directly contradicting charges from Lindley and the DOJ — and internal Gallup emails showing senior Obama re-election campaign adviser David Axelrod attempting to subtly intimidate the respected polling firm when its numbers were unfavorable to the president’s re-election campaign. After Gallup ignored Axelrod’s invitation to explain their processes at the White House, the DOJ joined Lindley’s lawsuit.
The DOJ has yet to serve Gallup with its complaint, which means the polling company can’t officially respond to the allegations.