Whistleblower talks about Ryan indictment

December 16, 2003 10:00:00 PM PST
It took nearly ten years for Tammy Raynor's complaint about possible corruption in the Secretary Of State's Office to be answered.

"I do feel a certain sense of accomplishment but I think I do need to say that the majority of the credit should go to the prosecutor," said Raynor, whistleblower.

Raynor is the original "whistleblower" in the licenses for bribes scandal. In the early 1990's , she-- as an $18,000/year clerk-- began reporting to her supervisors that some applicants were paying outright bribes to obtain CDL's.

"A CDL applicant walked up to the counter and very matter of fact said, 'I'm here for a test. Who do I pay?' And when it became that obviously was enraged," said Raynor.

At one point, Raynor met with the office's inspector general, the now-convicted Dean Bauer, only to have evidence of her complaints fed to a secretary of state's shredder. She has been a key witness for federal investigators who so far have indicted 66 people on a variety of charges that range from selling licenses to illegally raising political contributions from state workers. The current inspector general--former U.S. Attorney Jim Burns--says corruption in the office has been cleaned top to bottom.

"There is no promotion of ticket sales within the secretary of state system. There is no solicitation. The word is-- not on our time. Not on our dime. Not on our equipment," said Jim Burns, inspector general.

Tammy Raynor now works for the inspector general. She said the risk she took nearly a decade ago was worth it:

"This will send a message that no matter who you are everybody has the power to do something to make a difference," said Raynor.

The current Secretary Of State Jesse White was unavailable for comment. A spokesman for White noted today the office has been computerized since the new administration took office. He said that technological advances have made the kind of corruption that plagued the office in the past much less likely today.