Friday, September 29, 2023
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Whistleblower Says She Was Forced Out|For Reporting Improper Waste Disposal

PORTLAND, ORE. (CN) - A former auditor at a regional government agency claims her supervisors forced her to resign because she tried to get Metro to correct a subcontractor's improper disposal of hazardous waste and falsifying of documents. Metro subcontractor Philips Services Corp. improperly disposed of Metro's hazardous waste and tried to cover up its actions, Kimberlee Liebich claims in Multnomah County Court.

Liebich also claims she discovered health and safety violations at the St. John's Landfill and the Central Transfer Station. The former Senior Environmental Health and Safety Analyst says her supervisors, Jim Watkins and Jim Quinn, "created an atmosphere of hostility and distrust" and told her to "be careful" after she reported Philips' actions. Liebich's supervisors removed her from auditing projects involving Philips and in-house lawyers and human resources staff ignored her complaints about the hostile treatment, she says.

An independent audit of Metro's contract with Philips supported Liebich's claims, according to the complaint.

Metro helps manage more than 25 cities in the Portland area, handling topics such as urban planning, trash removal and recycling. Philips, which is not named in the complaint, provides waste removal and storage services nationwide.

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