Energy Department plans probe into PNNL whistleblower complaint

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) – The Department of Energy’s Office of Inspector General plans an investigation into allegations of retaliation against an employee of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Aleta Busselman contends she was removed from her position after she declined to make changes to a report that blamed management for a $530,000 theft of government money.

The Tri-City Herald reports that the national lab in Richland was tricked into paying the money to a fraudulent bank account.

The Office of Inspector General on Wednesday notified Busselman’s attorney that it plans to investigate.

Under the federal whistleblower law that covers government contractors, the lab could be required to reinstate her or could allow her to pursue a case in federal court.