Location: Michigan, US
Since January I've worked at a nonprofit organization that I've loved my entire life. My whole family is very supportive of this org. By taking this job, I was fulfilling not only my own dreams, but those of my family to help make my country a better place.
On 11/13, I had to resign from my job... and I'm not blameless here unfortunately...
This month, the org rolled out a new strategy nationwide and we (our attorneys) filed several lawsuits in support of this strategy. My boss tasked me with providing analyses (I was working as a data scientist) to back up a couple of the lawsuits. They'd already been filed, so I just needed to back up the claims our attorneys made in court.
The problems started here. I couldn't find anything to back up those claims... I tried umpteen transformations, slicing the data every which way and came up with nothing they could use. I told my boss I couldn't find anything. But he and his boss both insisted I must be able to find something. So I figured it was a test. I was on a contract ending 11/30 and I thought maybe they were trying to decide which contractors to keep on.
The next day or day after I was able to put something together... but there's a problem... Our attorneys alleged in court that fraudulent activities occurred in one region, and I had to merge data from another, entirely different region to make it appear that fraudulent activities occurred... to show a discrepancy when there was actually none... meaningless analysis akin to showing that there is more gas in the tank of an F-150 than capacity in the tank of a Focus--even if it's technically true, it's not evidence of illegal activity whatsoever.
I tried to explain this to my boss... I started the explanation but he cut me off... he told me I had done great work and said he didn't care how I got there. I tried to interject... but I couldn't get a word in...
I know I messed up really bad... right away a knot formed in my stomach... I haven't been able to sleep properly since.
The next day was Friday the 13th as it would happen, I resigned with two weeks notice for courtesy... per the org's data protection procedures, they pay me for two weeks but I was immediately dismissed. ie I didn't have access to any of the org's data after I resigned.
I'm still terrified... Does it sound like I did anything illegal? I think this court case may have been dismissed already, if it was dismissed, does that mean I could still be charged with something? Or am I safe now?
And now I keep thinking of other things... in the first week of November, I accidentally discovered a discrepancy between the org's internal data feed and the public data feed. The public feed is used by our competitors and government agencies, so any discrepancy is pretty serious. Based on our internal data feed, our attorneys were alleging that a single anomalous activity occurred at a specific time... but the public data feed showed instead a series of normal activities occurring over a wider period of time. I stumbled upon this discrepancy by accident--I was using the public data feed for another, unrelated analysis--but I notified my boss immediately... my boss only told me that he was "aware of the discrepancy". Later, we (our attorneys) built a court case based on the internal data feed... I didn't work on that case, but I knew we submitted inaccurate and made false claims... Now I can think of other instances like this too...
I just don't know what to do... should I get a lawyer? What kind of lawyer should I look for?