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Former WES employee faces $1 million U.S. suit

[02/22/01] A Vicksburg resident and former Waterways Experiment Station employee faces a civil suit by the federal government seeking more than $1 million.

The U.S. Justice Department is alleging that Robert Garner, 53, 103 Stratford Way, lied in order to obtain workers’ compensation benefits for eight years.

Garner was employed at WES from 1972 through 1989, the case says, and received benefits until 1997. No criminal charges are involved.

According to the lawsuit, which gives one side of a legal argument, Garner provided false written certification to the government that he was not self-employed or involved in any business from which he could receive money.

The suit alleges that Garner received money from private enterprises he was involved with during the same time he was acquiring workers’ compensation for a disability.

“Federal employees who apply for Federal Employees Compensation are expected and required to be truthful in submitting any claims and to answer all questions on the applications fully and accurately,” U.S. Attorney James Tucker said.

U.S. Attorney Cindy Eldridge, who is handling the case, said Garner should have known the information he was providing was false, inaccurate, evasive and incomplete.