Justin Schwartz, a lecturer at Cal State East Bay in 2009, told his bosses that a colleague in the recreation department was spending thousands of dollars of university money to buy himself a $4,000 bicycle, passes at a climbing gym, sailing equipment and paragliding lessons while claiming they were for classes he taught.
A campus investigation confirmed that the man had billed the school for personal expenses and that much of the equipment he had bought had mysteriously disappeared, and it found that department officials had never asked questions.
Rather than thank the whistle-blower, Cal State East Bay fired him. The colleague who appeared to have bilked the school still teaches there.
What happened next - after Schwartz sued California State University saying he was the victim of whistle-blower retaliation - is that he learned he wasn't alone. In the past three years, cash-strapped CSU has paid $9 million to settle and defend seven cases of retaliation against campus whistle-blowers.