Fired whistleblowers trigger state probe of youth facility – but can’t get justice for themselves, grantee finds

Emily Carter, left, and Kieria Krieger both worked at Cornerstone Cottage and, with other colleagues, sent an 84-page complaint to Idaho state regulators detailing horrors against children at the facility. (Leah Nash/InvestigateWest)

Emily Carter and Kieria Krieger told Idaho state officials about evidence of child abuse and sexual assault against residents at the youth facility where they worked, as well as sexual harassment against employees. With support from the Fund, reporter Wilson Criscione dug into their claims and others, documenting a pattern of misconduct and poor oversight of the facility. As a result of that reporting, the state is investigating the facility and lawmakers vowed to increase oversight. In a follow-up story, Criscione reports that Carter and Krieger were fired after telling officials what they saw at the facility, and the Idaho Human Rights Commission turned aside their claim of retaliation. The commission said their claims were outside the commission’s areas of responsibility.