Judge Finds for Alyeska in Whistleblower Case
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) _ A former Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. worker was fired because of racist remarks he made at work and other disciplinary problems, not his ″whistleblowing″ activities, a judge ruled.
Bob Scott claimed he was fired from his job at Alyeska’s Valdez oil terminal in 1990 because he was caught channeling information to Charles Hamel, an oil industry critic.
But administrative law judge Jeffrey Tureck of the U.S. Labor Department said on Friday it was ″remarkable″ Scott was still in Alyeska’s employ by then.
Four months before he was fired, Scott was accused of making racist remarks at work, Tureck noted.
″His denial of ever using racist, pejorative terms ... was contradicted by too many witnesses to be believable,″ Tureck said.
Supervisors who moved against him in 1990 after an alleged series of discipline problems did not know about the spying, the judge concluded.
Tureck said once Alyeska found out Scott was aiding Hamel, the company temporarily stopped action against him.
″The irony in this case is that, rather than cause Scott’s termination, his whistleblowing activities delayed and almost prevented it,″ Tureck said.
The judge’s decision goes next to the federal labor secretary for final action within 90 days.
For years Hamel has released leaked documents about safety and environmental concerns at Alyeska, a consortium of oil companies. Allegations brought to light by Hamel have forced Alyeska to make costly environmental upgrades.
Scott’s lawyers were not immediately available to say whether they would appeal.
Bob Jordan, Alyeska’s lawyer, called the ruling a vindication.