- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 8, 2016

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - An attorney for a former state worker who claimed he was fired in 2012 for complaining about the state’s alleged waste of emergency supplies has agreed to settle his whistleblower lawsuit.

Baton Rouge lawyer Jill Craft tells The Advocate (https://bit.ly/1QAcqZl) the trial of Bruce Ellis’ suit against the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, was scheduled to start Monday but both sides reached an agreement in principle over the weekend to settle the case.

The agreement will be in writing and finalized within the next two weeks, Craft said, adding that she cannot discuss the terms of the settlement at this time.

Agency spokesman Mike Steele said the agency also cannot comment on the pending litigation.

Ellis, who worked for the agency from 2006 until his September 2012 termination, said in his suit that the state ordered excessive amounts of ice and other emergency supplies during Isaac and wasted them, at great cost to taxpayers.

Truckloads of ice were taken to a “dry/unrefrigerated” warehouse in Lacombe belonging to Pelican Ice, the state’s ice vendor, and after the storm to the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, where the ice was allowed to melt, according to the suit, costing the state more than $2.5 million.

In videos shot at the Pelican Ice warehouse, several workers can be seen “playing ice-skating rink with forklifts in the melting ice,” the suit states.

Ellis, a 24-year veteran of the armed services, contends he was fired after agency officials intercepted two of his emails documenting the alleged misuse and waste.


Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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