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Dec. 10, 2012

Public Citizen Recognizes Keith Rutter for Longtime Dedication to Public Interest

Project On Government Oversight Employee Honored With the 10th Annual Phyllis McCarthy Public Interest Award

Contact: Jake Parent (202) 588-7779; Angela Bradbery (202) 588-7741; for broadcast media, Barbara Holzer (202) 588-7716; for online journalists, Rachel Lewis (202) 588-7703

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Keith Rutter, chief operating officer and dedicated employee of Project On Government Oversight (POGO), will receive the 10th annual Phyllis McCarthy Public Interest Award at a reception on Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 5 p.m. EST at Public Citizen’s office at 1600 20th Street, NW in Washington, D.C.

Rutter began working at POGO in 1989, when he was hired as the office manager. In his 23 years with the organization, Rutter has held numerous positions including director of operations and chief financial officer. Though his responsibilities and titles changed throughout the years, what didn’t change was his willingness to take on the essential tasks, according to Danielle Brian, POGO’s executive director. Rutter was always willing to do the things that needed to get done but no one wanted to do.

Brian recalled a time in the early 1990s when POGO hit a rough patch and nearly closed its doors. She said that “Keith was the only remaining employee, but he believed so strongly in the mission that he hung on, reaching out to board members to help save the organization. He always puts the organization’s best interests first – his motto is, ‘There’s no ‘I’ in POGO!”

Public Citizen created the award after Phyllis McCarthy, a 24-year employee of its Health Research Group, passed away in November 2002. She worked for 24 years as a managing editor and office manager, playing an integral part in the development and preparation of publications, reports, medical journal articles and petitions to government agencies. The award recognizes individuals who have worked long and hard for a public interest group, performing critical functions as did McCarthy, but who have not received public credit commensurate with their contributions.

POGO is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit independent watchdog that champions good government reform. In 1981, POGO’s original objective was to expose excessive military spending. Following nearly 10 years of successful reforms, POGO broadened its mission to include the investigation of waste, fraud and abuse throughout the federal government.

Brian and the POGO family were thrilled by the announcement that Keith would be recognized for this award.

“Keith is the heart and soul of POGO, but his central role and years of devotion to the organization (as well as his love of bad jokes) have always been behind the scenes,” Brian said. “The Phyllis McCarthy Award allows us all to publicly thank him for all his has done and accomplished.”

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