Former Pellissippi State employee says fired for blowing whistle on illegal discharge into Maryville sewer
From Staff Reports
Alan Carpenter, who was HVAC supervisor, filed suit in Blount County Circuit Court Thursday claiming he warned Pellissippi State on more than one occasion against the discharge but was ignored, according to a release from Knoxville attorney Richie Collins. Carpenter further claims, after the discharge came to light, he was interviewed by government investigators from the EPA and the TVA, who told Carpenter they were conducting a “criminal investigation” against Pellissippi State and he should speak truthfully because it would be unlawful for Pellissippi State to retaliate.
PSCC Vice President of College Advancement Peggy Wilson said on June 8 that the last work day for David Walton, PSCC facilities supervisor, and Carpenter was April 26. However, Walton had a 30-day notice of termination that ran through May 26 and Carpenter had a 14-day notice through May 10.
They were placed on administrative leave with pay and benefits until May 26 and May 10 respectively.
The city of Maryville issued PSCC a $40,000 fine after the illegal dump of glycol from the HVAC system in March at the Blount County PSCC campus at 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Friendsville.
PSCC officials appealed and the city agreed to drop the fine to $10,000 with the commitment of the school to implement mandatory employee training and to take necessary steps to ensure regulations and protocols will be conscientiously followed in the future.