Hanford contractor settles lawsuit for $1.1M

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RICHLAND — A Hanford contractor has agreed to pay $1.1 million to settle a lawsuit with the federal government that accused it of using federal money to lobby for new government customers at a training facility for first responders.

Fluor Corp. denies it did anything wrong and says it decided to settle to avoid the distraction and costs of litigation.

The Tri-City Herald reports $200,000 will go to the employee who filed a whistleblower lawsuit in 2011.

Fluor Hanford operated the HAMMER training facility for the Energy Department from 1996 to 2009. Court documents say consultants were paid $669,000 to lobby other government agencies to use the Hanford training facility.

The Justice Department says the money was intended only for training, not lobbying.