The Washington Post reports today that Service Corporation International (SCI), operator of the National Funeral Home, fired whistleblower Robert Ranghelli last week. After an April 5 Washington Post story detailed improper storage of corpses destined for Arlington National Cemetery, Ranghelli came forward to corroborate what he felt were disgraceful conditions at the home.
SCI immediately put Ranghelli on administrative leave. Rangelli cooperated with SCI’s internal investigation, sitting for five hours during two days of interviews. He corroborated reports made by his coworker, Steven Napper. Then SCI called Ranghelli to return to work, and immediately fired him for speaking with the media and appearing with a company van in a photograph published by the Washington Post.
The same day, SCI issued statements denying that any unlawful conditions existed at the National Funeral Home.
"I grew up on morals, and I have ethics and I have integrity and dignity," Ranghelli said, according to the Post story. Ranghelli is twenty years old, a new father, and he was the only wage earner for his family.
David Colapinto, General Counsel of the National Whistleblowers Center, represents Ranghelli. The Post story quotes Colapinto saying, "This is a cover up and a white-wash . . . They want to instill a chilling effect on their workforce."