The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) authority in Tampa recently terminated its Chief Executive Officer Ben Limmer after a whistleblower complaint and investigation into his improper conduct.
The transit authority board received a letter in November from a whistleblower alleging impropriety in vendor relations, procurement processes and other similar issues. The general counsel for HART said it was important for the agency to “move expeditiously” with an investigation and decision in the matter after receiving the information from the whistleblower. Limmer was placed on paid leave until the organization was able to complete an internal investigation.
After the investigation into the whistleblower’s claims completed, there were eight discovered violations of policies, such as giving contractors fair unfair advantages for major contracts. Investigators also found the CEO misused his company credit card, purchasing meals for his sun and hundreds of dollars’ worth of personal items.
Limmer cooperated with the investigation, and admitted to making “avoidable errors” with regard to internal policies. He claims the errors were unintentional, but thanked the HART team nonetheless.
This case marks one more example of how many incidents of internal wrongdoing in companies and organizations go unreported and unnoticed without the crucial information provided by whistleblowers with firsthand or secondhand knowledge of that wrongdoing. If you are aware of any form of fraud or wrongdoing being committed within your organization, contact an experienced whistleblower attorney at Kardell Law Group to learn more about the steps you can take to report what you know and to protect yourself from potential retaliation.