Washington -- The Justice Department will not try again to prosecute a watchdog group that shared money from a whistle-blower settlement with a government economist a decade ago.
The decision came at a hearing Thursday. A federal judge declared a mistrial last month when the eight jurors in the civil case failed to reach a unanimous verdict.
The defendants are the Project on Government Oversight and former government economist Richard A. Berman. POGO had paid Berman nearly $400,000 from a $1.2 million settlement for exposing oil companies' underpayment of royalties to the government.
They had faced fines, but no jail time. The Justice Department argued the payment violated a federal ban on supplementing the salary of an executive branch employee.