A Rockwell Shuttle Operations Co. security worker was dismissed from her job for giving information to two former aerospace workers who claim they are being harassed for alleging space shuttle safety and security violations, her attorney said.
Debra Katz, a Washington lawyer representing Suzan Neilsen, 36, told the Houston Chronicle in a story published Saturday that Rockwell forced her client to take administrative leave with pay on April 28, a day after a deposition said that she had corrobated the suspicions of two wom-en who claim Rockwell wiretapped their home telephones.Katz has asked for an emergency restraining order against Rockwell to allow Neilsen to return to work. A hearing is set for Thursday in Houston before U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes.
Neilsen was temporarily dismissed after Ria Solomon, a former Unisys Corp. data clerk, testified to Rockwell attorneys that Neilsen told her of remarks by fellow Rockwell security personnel suggesting that her home phone and her co-plaintiff's home phones had been tapped and that employee phones at the Rockwell office building were monitored.
Neilsen was dismissed the following day by Rockwell officials who told her she had revealed information that was damaging to the company, Katz said.
"This is just the tip of an iceberg," Neilsen told the Chronicle. "There are a lot of workers who are going to start complaining. We are just the first ones to do it."
A Rockwell spokesman in California said the company had no immediate comment on Neilsen's dismissal or the allegations of wiretapping and telephone monitoring.
Solomon and Sylvia Robbins, a Rockwell systems engineer, filed a $5.2 million lawsuit last September against Unysis, Rockwell and four other defendants alleging safety violations, security breaches and pricegouging in space shuttle program operations.
Rockwell has a four-year, $685 million contract with NASA to provide shuttle flight and shuttle flight simulator services through the Johnson Space Center. Unisys is a Rockwell subcontractor.