Now there’s a headline.Â Here’s the bottom line:Â An engineer for a contractor working on nuclear plants for the TVA falsified safety (think injury) data at the sites. He lied, as the court concluded based on both e-mail evidence (the engineer’s own words condemned him) and interviews with employees who said that they were denied or received delayed medical treatment in order to keep the number of injuries down. The Barimeter envisions the engineer saying, “Just go sit over there and be quiet until we submit the quarterly safety numbers.Â Â Then we will get you some treatment.”
Stone & Webster (a subsidiary of Shaw)Â had a contract withÂ TVAÂ for maintenance and modification services at the Browns Ferry, Sequoyah and Watts Bar nuclear plants.Â Walter Cardin was the safety manager for Stone & Webster on those projects.Â Because Mr. Cardin submitted false data,Â Stone & Webster was entitled to receive safety bonuses of aboutÂ $2.5 million annually under the terms of its contract with theÂ TVA. Stone & Webster has paid back over $6.2 million toÂ the federal government as part of its settlement of the case on civil charges based on false claims and contract fraud.
Mr. Cardin’s knowing misrepresentations (lies, as the judge noted) and his obstruction during the investigation (he denied falsification despite, as noted earlier, those damning e-mails) netted him the 78-month sentence.Â There are no limits to what employees will do when incentives are misaligned — i.e., the employees get the idea to just meet the numbers required, even if the numbers are not real.
During the trial, evidence was
presented covering over 80 injuries that were not properly recorded by Cardin.
According to a statement from the US Department of Justice, evidence had also
shown that Cardin had “intentionally misrepresented or simply lied” about
how the injuries had occurred and their severity. Some employees testified that
they had been denied or delayed proper medical treatment as a result of