A former long-time Washington State Department of Transportation economist has had a lawsuit filed on their behalf against WSDOT and the state over their departure.

  Whistleblower forced out at WSDOT after saying they were forced to omit or lie

Scott Smith, who had worked for WSDOT as an economist and transportation planner for many years, came forward with information indicating he was told to lie in his projections about fuel price increases due to the Climate Commitment Act.

Gov. Inslee and other officials claimed when the CCA went into effect in January of 2023, the prices at the pump would only go up a few pennies, but the opposite happened.  As predicted by numerous independent groups and Smith's own data, fuel prices rose well over $.50 cents per gallon.

   Smith told reporters that last January, he was instructed to omit cap and trade surcharges and other CCA data from his economic projections (on fuel prices). He was told by his superiors to lie about the effects the CCA would have.

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After blowing the whistle in 2023, he ended up resigning, saying the work environment had become so untenable he was forced to leave.

Now, the Citizen Action Defense Fund has filed a lawsuit against the state, seeking damages and back wages after Smith was "shown the door" in his own words. CADF Executive Director Jackson Maynard told MyNorthwest.com: 

 “The suit seeks an unspecified amount of damages, including loss of wages and pension, loss of reputation, and punitive damages.”

This is the second claim filed against the state, the other was in December of 2023, but that one was ignored by WSDOT, the Office of Financial Management, and the Governor's Office.

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