“Whistleblowing is a process and not an event.” In this episode of the Whistleblower of the Week podcast, FBI whistleblower Jane Turner talks with Stephanie Van de Motter, who worked and lived in 1221 Ocean Avenue, a luxury apartment building in Santa Monica owned by the Irvine Company. Van de Motter talks about her journey from Michigan to California and the dream job she landed, where she brushed shoulders with the rich and famous and created a community at the apartment building. She details her discovery of a systemic mold and water intrusion problem at the complex. Van de Motter then talks about the ways in which the company first tried to hide the problems and then fix the issues — but in ways that endangered residents, defied safety standards, and prioritized profits.
Van de Motter recalls her whistleblower journey, her fight for attorney’s fees, and describes how the company retaliated against her. She provides insights into the personal toll retaliation has taken on her and how she has been blackballed in her industry. Finally, she talks with Turner about her hope for the future generations of whistleblowers and starts to discuss her advocacy for whistleblower rights and the foundation she started, the Silenced No More Foundation. Part II of Van de Motter’s episode, where she talks more about her advocacy work and gives more insight into her case, will be published on April 11: stay tuned!