Blue and Gold Blue and Gold Winter Edition 2020 | Page 10
BSC Alum Writes
At a time when the value of whistleblowers in government
and business is being challenged at the highest levels,
a Bluefield State alumnus has come forward with his
personal story about the cost of doing so.
Blake Percival ’00 has just published
“Holding On To Integrity And Paying The
Price – A Whistleblower’s Story.”
In 2007 he was promoted to District
In 2011 he was promoted to Director of
Fieldwork Services, Western Pennsylvania.
Then the trouble began.
Asking employees why morale was so low,
he found out that the company was routinely
“dumping” the federal background checks it
was being paid to do.
Percival and his family were
reduced to near poverty as
he worked a string of menial
jobs while the case worked
its way slowly through the
USIS had told its employees to falsify
records saying that the checks had been
done, when in fact they had not.
He filed a wrongful dismissal lawsuit. Two
years later, in 2013, the Justice Department
joined the lawsuit adding significant legal
weight to his case.
The lawsuit alleged that between 2008 and
2012, 665,000 cases had been dumped by the
The suit also documented how USIS had
been paid bonuses by the government for
turning around cases quickly. $11.7 million
between 2008 and 2010.
Percival and his family were reduced to near
poverty as he worked a string of menial
jobs while the case worked its way slowly
through the court system.
In 2015 USIS filed for bankruptcy.
The story doesn’t quite end there though.
Without giving away the details in his
just-published book, it would be safe to say
that justice was served.
Blake Percival’s story is a reminder about
why those who stand up to wrongdoing need
to be protected and rewarded for their
For more information about this courageous
alumnus or how to purchase a copy of his
book, visit his website:
Percival’s sense of honor and integrity were
offended. He thought bringing this practice
to the attention of his superiors would end it.
Asking employees why
morale was so low, he found
out that the company was
routinely “dumping” the
federal background checks it
was being paid to do.
It did not. In fact, he was ordered to continue
Soon after he was fired. Poor management
style, the company claimed.
Bluefield State College alumnus and
whistleblower author, Blake Percival.
BLUE AND GOLD
In 2005 he was reassigned as a Team Leader.
As a senior manager told him, “One of USIS’s
dirty little secrets is that we’re not reviewing
every case we send to OPM.”
Percival had built a solid career in law
enforcement and investigations when he was
hired in 2001 by U.S. Investigations Services
(later USIS). For two years he was an
Investigator doing background checks for the
United States Office of Personnel
In 2003 he was promoted to District
Thus began four and a half years of
emotional and financial hell for Percival and