In March 1979, a scary accident on the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor near Middletown, Pennsylvania, led to far-reaching consequences. Netflix’s four-part docuseries titled ‘Meltdown: Three Mile Island’ delves into what happened and how the government dealt with the case. Billie Garde, working for the Government Accountability Project, heard about the incident from Rick Parks, a whistleblower. As a whistleblower herself, Billie worked with Rick to publicize the information. So, if you’re curious to find out more about Billie, we’ve got you covered.
What Happened to Billie Garde?
Billie Garde worked as a temporary employee for the US Census Bureau in Muskogee, Oklahoma, when the incident occurred in 1979. It was a time that affected both her personal and professional life. By October 1978, Billie had split up with her husband, Larry, and the couple initially shared custody of their two daughters. However, controversy at her work coincided with her losing custody of her children.
At Billie’s workplace, she accused her supervisor, John Hudson, of pressuring her to falsify test scores for people he preferred for patronage hiring. Billie further claimed that John asked her to hire women who could provide sexual favors to government officials that visited. Soon after going public with this information in 1980, Billie was fired from her position at the Census Bureau. According to her, John helped her husband revoke the prior custody agreement when it came to the two girls.
It was reported that Larry contacted Billie’s boss soon after the information was published, and the same day, he filed for the custody motion. However, Larry denied that it had any bearing on his decision, adding that John offered to help, but he turned him down. But the trouble for Billie didn’t stop there; she alleged that she had been harassed, threatened, and subjected to vandalism. When Billie planned to leave Muskogee after being fired, she claimed her goods were left on the loading dock for days. According to her, every time the movers tried to load up her things, unknown people with knives drove them away.
Where is Billie Garde Now?
Eventually, Billie Garde’s whistleblowing led to John Hudson being convicted of a couple of charges, resulting in jail time. As for Billie, she regained custody of her daughters with the help of the Government Accountability Project. She went on to work for GAP after getting a law degree in 1986. The non-profit organization defends whistleblowers, with Billie becoming an advocate for people like her. Over time, Billie also became the director of Citizens’ Clinic, representing citizens that felt the government regulators weren’t carrying out the responsibilities they were supposed to.
In 1986, Billie expressed doubt regarding her continuing to stay in the same field, adding, “It’s very intense. It’s a lot of work, and it’s an uphill battle. A lot of it is tilting at windmills, frankly, and the windmills are very important.” However, it’s clear that she has continued on the same path and now co-owns a law practice. It seems that Billie lives in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, and specializes in cases involving employment issues. Apart from that, she is a grandmother now and cherishes her time with her family.
Read More: Where is Rick Parks Now?