Pa. man has whistleblower suit on furnace program

UNIONTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A western Pennsylvania man has filed a whistleblower lawsuit claiming he was laid off from a county program that provides assistance for people who need furnaces after he reported employees who showed favoritism to friends and relatives.

Michael Volek’s lawsuit targets the Redevelopment Authority of Fayette County, where he was hired in 2008 and laid off six months ago.

The authority isn’t commenting saying officials there haven’t seen the lawsuit filed late Wednesday.

Volek contends his complaints led to an inspector general’s investigation of the authority’s weatherization program, which helps needy people get new furnaces and make other weather-related home improvements.

Volek says he audited the program and saw officials buying furnaces for people who didn’t need them and giving preferential treatment to friends and relatives on a waiting list for heating assistance.

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