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WSI whistle-blower seeks reinstatement; board calls special meeting

Jim Long, an executive of the North Dakota workers' compensation agency who has asked for whistle-blower protection, has asked to be reinstated from his paid administrative leave.

Jim Long, an executive of the North Dakota workers' compensation agency who has asked for whistle-blower protection, has asked to be reinstated from his paid administrative leave.

In a memo to Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem dated Tuesday, Long said he wants to return to work on the management team of Workforce Safety and Insurance should not be allowed to "continue to create a hostile work environment for all whistleblowers."

Long was placed on administrative leave Nov. 15 and temporarily banned from the WSI building and computer systems while the agency reevaluated his role in order to reinstate him, according to a letter from a WSI lawyer.

"It's our policy to not comment on personnel matters," WSI spokesman Mark Armstrong said.

In another development, the WSI board announced Wednesday that it will conduct a special board meeting Monday to reconsider and clarify a motion regarding the appointment of a committee to oversee an outside review of the agency.

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State Auditor Bob Peterson wrote WSI Board Chairman Bob Indvik last week and told him he thought the request for proposals for the scope of the outside review was not included in the motion and appeared to be retaliatory against the agency's compliance auditor, Kay Grinsteinner, another whistle-blower.

The request for proposals included a reference to a review of Grinsteinner's "processes and procedures" in bringing to light concerns of wrongdoing, including the possibility injured workers' claims were being improperly denied, exposing WSI to possible legal liability.

For more on the story, read The Forum on Thursday.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Patrick Springer at (701) 241-5522

WSI whistle-blower seeks reinstatement; board calls special meeting Patrick Springer 20071121

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