Sarbox Whistleblower Takes to Teaching

Lora Bentley

Last fall, we highlighted the story of the first Sarbox whistleblower, David Welch. The former Cardinal Bancshares CFO claims he was fired after questioning some of the company's internal controls and refusing to certify the financials when his concerns were not addressed.


Five years after seeking protection under the whistleblower provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley, Welch is still without a job in the accounting sector, according to this interview. And that's after a Department of Labor ruling requiring his reinstatement. Cardinal has refused to comply thus far, arguing that the ruling was not enforceable because it was not a final order. Nearly a year ago, a U.S. district judge in Virginia agreed. Welch has appealed that decision.


Thousands of dollars in legal fees, countless resumes and fruitless job interviews later, not to mention hours of doctoral study, the experience has not been worthless. Welch will soon become a full-time faculty member at Franklin University, where he will help the accounting department to establish a forensic accounting and ethics program.


How does he feel about the move from banking to education?

It is rewarding to stand in front of a class and take a stand for honesty and integrity. Before you are confronted with this type of decision, you must make a choice. I can tell them I know what I am talking about. I know the cost. I have been there.

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