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VWA-0007 - In the Matter of C. Lawrence Cornett, Maria Elena Torano Associates, Inc.

This Decision involves a complaint filed by C. Lawrence Cornett (Complainant) under the Department of Energy's Contractor Employee Protection Program, 10 C.F.R. Part 708. Complainant contends that various types of reprisals were taken against him by his employer, Maria Elena Torano Associates, Inc. (META), after he raised public health and safety concerns regarding the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). At the time of Complainant's hiring in November 1992, META was under contract to the DOE to review and revise draft materials for the PEIS including the performance of data analysis. See DOE Contract No. DE-AC01-91EM40002, Attachment B.

The Office of Contractor Employee Protection (OCEP) conducted an investigation of Complainant's allegations and issued a Report of Investigation and Proposed Order (Report) on April 17, 1996. OCEP, in the Report, found that the available evidence supported Complainant's allegations and proposed that he be granted relief, though not as much as Complainant felt he was entitled to. Both Complainant and META requested a hearing before an Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) Hearing Officer under 10 C.F.R. 708.9(a). The hearing in this case was held on October 29-31, 1996 at DOE Headquarters in Washington, D.C.