Pennsylvania Turnpike whistleblower lawsuit given new life

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A former Pennsylvania Turnpike employee is getting another chance to pursue his claim that he was improperly fired in retaliation for blowing the whistle on agency practices.

The state Supreme Court unanimously revived Ralph Bailets’ lawsuit Monday against the turnpike commission and two of its officials over his 2008 termination.

Bailets says he was dismissed for raising criticisms about a major computer contract, hiring practices and how large trucking firms qualify for E-ZPass discounts.

His testimony was used by prosecutors in 2013 to file corruption charges against several agency officials.

A judge in early 2014 threw out the case on the grounds that Bailets’ firing was “a management discretionary action, motivated by legitimate employer objectives.” The turnpike had argued he was fired with 14 others for economic reasons.

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