Dow Chemical denies retaliation as to why investigator was fired - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Dow Chemical denies retaliation as to why investigator was fired

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MIDLAND (WJRT) -

(01/20/14) - Her job was to keep track of how Dow Chemical spends its money, but a former employee claims her investigations got her fired.

Now she is suing.
    
Kimberly Wood worked for Dow Chemical for 25 years as a certified fraud investigator. She claims, last October, her boss told her, 'your work here is done.'

"She is claiming she was wrongfully terminated and retaliated against because she was doing essentially her job," says attorney Victor Mastromarco, Jr.

Kimberly Wood has filed a Whistleblower's lawsuit against Dow Chemical, its CEO Andrew Liveris, and Vice President Charles Kalil. Her attorney Victor Mastromarco, Jr. says the company forced a severance package on her, an agreement Wood did not accept. She was fired in October.

"They said regardless of whether you take your package or not, you are gone on Oct. 31," Mastromarco said.

In the lawsuit, the claim is made that several of her investigations led to her firing.

Wood says she questioned the company's expenditures, including $13 million in cost overruns Dow spent for the renovation of the H Hotel in 2009.

Her investigations also included Liveris. In 2011, he agreed to pay back about $720,000 in personal expenses including trips for his family to sporting events, such as the 2010 Super Bowl. Mastromarco says that audit was done by Wood.

"She is like the internal police of this public company. Her job requires her to determine whether or not there are abuses and that is what she was determining and as a result of that, she lost her job," Mastromarco says.

And the most recent claim - Wood's lawsuit alleges Dow has been funneling money to a charity Liveris co-founded, The Hellenic Initiative, and the company is falsely identifying those payments as routine business expenses. The charity was started in 2012 to help Greece recover from its financial crisis.

Dow Chemical spokesperson Rebecca Bentley says, "this case is about a disgruntled former employee who is making false allegations in an attempt for personal gain. When her request for unearned benefits was denied, her regrettable response was to retaliate by attacking the reputation and integrity of Dow employees and family members. There is simply no merit whatsoever to these baseless allegations and Dow will defend the case vigorously."

Rebecca Bentley of Dow says it will file a motion Tuesday to dismiss the complaint.

Mastromarco says they stand by their suit.

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