published Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

TVA-contracted medical case manager trial begins

A federal criminal trial began Monday for Walter Cardin, a medical case manager charged with falsifying documents that resulted in $2.5 million in safety bonuses paid out to his employer, a TVA-contracted construction company.

Federal prosecutors allege that from March 2003 until November 2006 Cardin falsely reported injury and lost time numbers for workers at the Browns Ferry nuclear reactor restart in Athens, Ala.; the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant in Spring City, Tenn; and the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant in Soddy-Daisy.

Attorneys selected a jury most of the day Monday and presented opening statements. Late in the day Curt Hudson, director of contract audits for Tennessee Valley Authority, testified.

Hudson answered questions from Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Sullivan about how safety bonuses were calculated and how employees for Stone & Webster Construction reported the numbers to the federal agency.

The audit director said that between 1,500 and 2,000 Stone & Webster employees worked at the Alabama location for much of the period, which is why that site accounted for about $2.2 million of the total bonuses paid.

Bruce Gardner, a Huntsville, Ala.-based attorney, is representing Cardin.

Cardin faces 11 counts, most of which are specific to time periods of alleged false reporting, conspiracy and wire fraud.

Court documents mention co-conspirators, including a doctor who saw injured employees but did not list names.

Contact staff writer Todd South at tsouth@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6347.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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