Ex-BP worker files whistleblower suit over cleanup

By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN | January 25, 2012 | 12:25 PM EST

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A former BP employee has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the company, claiming he was fired for airing concerns about the cleanup of Mississippi's shoreline after the Gulf oil spill.

In a suit filed last Friday in U.S. District Court in New Orleans, August Walter claims a BP official manipulated data on shoreline cleanup and didn't give the Coast Guard a factual accounting of substances that required cleaning.

Walter, a Covington, La., resident who helped develop BP's cleanup plans after the 2010 spill began, claims he was fired last month in retaliation for complaining that BP wasn't following environmental regulations and was "picking and choosing what oil to pick up."

A BP spokesman said the company doesn't believe Walter's allegations have merit but will investigate.