Remember David Welch, the former Cardinal Bancshares CFO who became the first to win protection under the whistleblower provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley?
After he was fired from his position, Welch filed suit under Sarbox, alleging that the termination was retaliatory. He claimed that he was let go because he refused to sign off on year-end regulatory filings due to concerns about the company's internal accounting controls. Cardinal, of course, didn't agree.
An administrative law judge recommended that Cardinal reinstate Welch, but a federal district judge refused to enforce the ruling because it wasn't a final decision from the administrative proceedings. The litigation dragged on for more than five years.
At the end of May -- just one day after we posted this update -- the Department of Labor's Administrative Review Board decided "it would not adopt [the ALJ's recommendation]" that Welch be reinstated, according to CFO.com.
The board denied Welch's complaint, deciding he did not prove that his actions in questioning Cardinal's accounting controls were protected under Sarbanes-Oxley.
It's not the resolution Welch wanted, I'm sure, but at least this particular phase will be behind him before he starts his new teaching position.