Defining Appropriate Law Enforcement Authority
by Michael Fox
Sarbanes-Oxley's criminal retaliation statute requires a report to a law enforcement official, an undefined term. The Texas Whistleblower statute has somewhat similar language (although it requires that it be an appropriate authority), but provides a detailed definition in §554.002. Even with a definition you can see the kind of issues that it leads to. The Texas Supreme Court took a narrow view in Texas Dept. of Transportation v. Needham which required an en banc reversal of a panel decision by the 14th Court of Appeals. City of Houston v. Kallina (Tex. App. - Houston [14th]) (11/21/02).