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Georgia Power to Pay Whistleblower

October 4, 2002 GMT

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ATLANTA (AP) _ A federal court has ordered Georgia Power Co. to pay $4 million to a whistleblower executive fired 12 years ago after he raised questions about the company’s management of nuclear power plants.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta ordered the power company to pay former executive Marvin B. Hobby $4 million in back pay. Georgia Power also will have to send a letter to every employee welcoming Hobby back to the company.

Hobby was manager of Georgia Power’s nuclear operations division.

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In 1989, Hobby wrote an internal memo suggesting Georgia Power wasn’t following government policy as it turned over control of a nuclear plant in Waynesboro, Ga. Hobby also complained that he was asked to lie in testimony against a company employee involved in a separate whistleblower case.

A few months after Hobby wrote the memo, he was dismissed. Hobby’s attorney, Michael Kohn, said Georgia Power told Hobby the reason for his firing was downsizing. For years, Hobby could not find work in the power industry.

The company hasn’t decided whether to appeal the ruling, Georgia Power spokesman John Sell said.