A top executive at the Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency has filed a lawsuit against the organization claiming that it terminated his employment contract after he spoke out against a possible conflict of interest concerning UTOPIA’s top boss and a company run by his brother.
In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court of Utah, UTOPIA Director of Operations Chris Hogan said he was in negotiations to renew his employment contract when he learned that a company known as Tetra Tech was possibly poised to begin doing work laying fiber-optic cable.
Hogan said he approached UTOPIA’s outside plant manager, Jarrod Paintier, and suggested he make sure that the organization’s executive board knew that Tetra Tech was run by Ryan Marriott, brother of UTOPIA’s top boss, Todd Marriott.
“Hogan’s motive in speaking with Pantier about the potential conflict of interest was to protect UTOPIA and to prevent UTOPIA from entering into a contract that could be illegal and would endanger UTOPIA’s continual success and existence,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit contends that Pantier subsequently told Todd Marriott about Hogan’s concerns. and Marriott terminated Hogan’s employment contract.
It goes on to contend that after Marriott terminated Hogan, Marriott hired his neighbor, who also was a business partner of his brother, to fill Hogan’s position.
Hogan is asking for a $322,00 judgment against Utopia under several causes of action, as well as additional damages to be proven at trial.