A public employee, who protested his agency's improper awarding of a no-bid contract and was fired in retaliation, has settled his wrongful termination suit for $390,000. The whistleblower, Shahiq Khwaja protested when the Washington DC Metro system awarded a no-bid contract to a software and consulting company in violation of public contracting and procurement rules; he claimed that the work could have been done at much less expenses had Metro followed proper bid procedures.
Khwaja filed his suit under the federal False Claims Act which allowed him to do two important things: (1) the law prohibits retaliation against a whistleblower and was the basis for the wrongful termination suit; and, (2) the law allows a whistleblower to file suit on behalf of the federal government where its money is wrongfully wasted or defrauded by a government contractor or local government entity using and receiving federal funds.
The settlement included a $4.2 million reimibursement payment to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The whistleblower under the False Claims Act will receive some $996,000 of that money.
Source: Washington Post