Corps Whistleblower to Teach at University
Sweeney to Become Visiting Scholar at UMSL
St. Louis — Under an arrangement with the US Army Corps of Engineers, Dr. Donald Sweeney, the Corps economist who revealed that the agency was manipulating cost-benefit studies to justify large scale projects on the Upper Mississippi River-Illinois Waterway, will become a Visiting Scholar with the recently-formed Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL). Dr. Sweeney’s placement with UMSL is through the Intergovernmental Personnel Act by which federal specialists are loaned out to states, universities and non-profit organizations.
Dr. Sweeney, a PhD economist whose critiques have been validated by both a National Academy of Sciences study and an Army Inspector General investigation, will be developing economic modeling techniques which can be used by the Corps and others to estimate the relative costs and benefits of using different modes of transport.
Dr. Ray Mundy directs the Center for Transportation Studies, a new institute within the Business School of the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The Center investigates public policy issues in transportation as well as network analysis, marketing, regulation and the efficient utilization of public transportation.
“This is an outcome I desired,” stated Dr. Sweeney whose two-year term with UMSL is renewable for another two years. “I look forward to the freedom to refine transportation economic models in a university setting.”
“The recent congressional testimony of the new Chief of Engineers, Lt. General Robert Flowers, strongly signals that professional economists will now have an even harder time doing credible work within the Corps,” commented Jeff Ruch, Executive Director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), the organization which provided legal representation for Dr. Sweeney. “As illustrated by the number of his colleagues who testified on Dr. Sweeney’s behalf during the official investigations, the Corps civilian staff includes many outstanding professionals, but the uniformed leadership of the Corps has an obvious integrity problem — a problem which they propose to address by resolving never to get caught again.”