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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 07:40 AM
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Army chemical weapons monitor sues over firing
Army chemical weapons monitor sues over firing
By Jeffrey McMurray - The Associated Press
Posted : Tuesday Nov 27, 2007 19:49:51 EST

LEXINGTON, Ky. A former chemical weapons monitoring operator at Blue Grass Army Depot testified Tuesday that he was fired for raising concerns about safety problems with igloos that house deadly chemical weapons.

Donald Van Winkle, seeking compensation from the Army for the loss of his job at the depot in Richmond, is suing under a federal law that protects whistle-blowers from retaliation.

U.S. Administrative Law Judge Thomas Phalen will determine whether the Army retaliated against Van Winkle and whether he is entitled to monetary damages for the loss of his job.

Kevin Bennett, an attorney for the Army, said Van Winkle was disciplined for cause, not because he was a whistle-blower.

To the extent any hostile environment existed, it existed only in his head, Bennett said. Management bent over backward for this employee.

Allegations by Van Winkle and other current and former workers at the depot have sparked numerous investigations, including a criminal examination by a grand jury, concerning the storage of deadly agents that are to be destroyed to comply with an international treaty.

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