Court halts disciplinary action against landfill manager
Published 12/08/2010 | 05:00
A LANDFILL manager yesterday won a High Court injunction preventing his employer from continuing a disciplinary process against him based on the claim that he falsified information about the levels of toxic leachate at a site.
Michael Bergin, from Raheen Lower, Donaghmore, Rathdowney, Co Laois, has worked as an environmental engineer with Greenstar since 2004.
Mr Justice John Quirke heard that Mr Bergin's application for an injunction arose from an investigation into a leachate leak that occurred in Kilcullen, Co Kildare in late 2009.
Mr Bergin denies Greenstar's accusation against him in the disciplinary proceedings that he deliberately falsified information and records which were passed on to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
He sought the injunction on the grounds that the company's decision not to allow his lawyers cross-examine his supervisor about matters he claims are relevant to his defence was in breach of fair procedures.
Mr Bergin claimed that he was "being made a scapegoat" and that the disciplinary process was "a charade."
He said that part of his job was to monitor the leachate levels in the landfill and that a difficulty arose in relation to these at the Kilcullen site in August 2008.
Mr Bergin noticed that the levels were much higher than those recorded by meters used to monitor leachate levels.
He claimed that the company attempted to reduce the leachate without alerting the EPA.
Mr Bergin said that when the leak occurred he contacted the EPA and fully informed them of what had happened and why it had occurred.
Greenstar, he said, also commenced an investigation.
The case will be back in court in October.