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Fired engineer sues, saying utility retaliated against him

A former engineer at a partially-aborted Mississippi Power Co. plant is suing the utility’s parent company, saying it’s ignoring an order to reinstate him.

The whistleblower case was filed Tuesday in federal court in Birmingham, Alabama.

Brett Wingo of Homewood, Alabama, says he warned Atlanta-based Southern Co. that the Kemper County plant wouldn’t meet deadlines promised to investors. The suit says Wingo raised concerns with executives including CEO Tom Fanning.

Wingo says his firing was retaliation. He complained to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which in January ordered Southern to rehire him with back pay and benefits. Wingo’s suit demands twice his back pay, plus additional damages.

Southern couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Mississippi Power and regulators are negotiating a settlement over the $7.5 billion Kemper plant.

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