2024 Whatcom County Jury Awards Former Western Washington Auditor Antonia Allen $2.99 Million For Whistleblower Retaliation

May 14, 2024


Today, a Whatcom County jury awarded former Director of the WWU Office of Internal Auditor Antonia Allen more than $2.9 million in damages for whistleblower retaliation. At the trial, Antonia proved that she was terminated in retaliation for investigating and reporting to her  management (including WWU President Sabah Randhawa) and to federal and state authorities, that WWU staff and faculty members in the Woodring College of Education offered and granted false academic credentials to students with the intent to bolster their credit loads for financial aid purposes–essentially, faculty and staff were giving students credit for attending classes they did not in fact attend so they could obtain federal financial aid money.  As a part of the investigation, Ms. Allen met with a federal investigator from the U.S. Department of Education who told her those acts constituted fraud against the United States.  Ms. Allen reported the agent’s statement to WWU management, and in response, she was pressured to remove the word “fraud” from the report.  When she would not remove that language, President Randhawa fired her. 

At trial, President Randhawa stated under oath that Ms. Allen had several deficiencies as the reasons she was fired.  He admitted that her refusal to remove the offending language as a reason for the termination.  At trial, the State was unable to produce any evidence that showed deficiencies. 

The jury deliberated more than five days before reaching their verdict.

Click here to see Allen – Complaint

Click here to see OIA Charter; its purpose was to protect the auditor from management

Allen – Allen v State of WA Verdict Form

Click here to see Woodring Internship Irregularities Investigation Report

Click here to see OIA contacts the OIG to request clarification

Click here to see email with committee head attaching notes of talk with DOE

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