A former National Security Agency employee was awarded a $10,000 whistleblower's prize by the Fertel Foundation and the Nation Institute a year after he was accused of mishandling classified information by the federal government.
Thomas Drake, 53, who lives in Howard County, was awarded the Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling at a ceremony Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
The website for The Nation Institute describes the prize as recognition for "acts of truth-telling that protect the public interest, promote social justice or illuminate a more just vision of society." The prized was named for investigative journalist Ron Ridenhour.
"I did what I did because I am rooted in the faith that my duty was to the American people," Drake said in a statement to The Nation.
Drake was indicted in April 2010 under the Espionage Act on five charges of retaining classified information to give to a Baltimore Sun reporter, one charge of obstructing justice and four charges of making a false statement to the FBI. He's scheduled for trial in June.