New Documents Reveal More About Leak, Retaliation Allegations Against LP&L

Newly released documents Wednesday shed new light on allegations of retaliation at Lubbock Power and Light. But, they also provide new details amid allegations that confidential LP&L information was leaked to an outside company.
By James Clark

LUBBOCK, TX -- Newly released documents Wednesday shed new light on allegations of retaliation at Lubbock Power and Light. But, they also provide new details amid allegations that confidential LP&L information was leaked to an outside company.

On Tuesday lawyers for Kyle Sparks issued a press release indicating he had been put on paid leave for nothing more than communicating with City Manager James Loomis. EverythingLubbock.com was first to report that Sparks filed a grievance late last year in which he complained of nepotism. The City Manager heard Sparks’ grievance and agreed that there was nepotism which created “this egregious situation.”

Officials previously said the nepotism issue resolved itself when LP&L’s Assistant Director and his son both left LP&L of their own accord.

But then two weeks ago Sparks claimed he was put on paid leave.

“[My supervisor] told me that I was being placed on paid administrative leave, and I was under an internal HR investigation for communications I allegedly had with the City Manager, James Loomis, and members of the Electric Utility Board,” Sparks wrote in a second grievance filed Monday.

Sparks claimed he was asked to resign both his permanent job of Electrical Engineer as well as Interim Electrical Engineer Manager. Sparks resigned from the interim position but wanted to keep is permanent job. The resignation was rejected.

But Sparks story also includes allegations that confidential information was leaked – an allegation EverythingLubbock.com was first to report on May 11 after talking to Mayor Glen Robertson.

Sparks newest grievance said, “Also, [Lubbock Power & Light Director] Gary Zheng is aware of my knowledge that he has been providing information about LP&L to Hunt Transmissions (Sharyland Utilities) through Bums & McDonnell. I am growing concerned that this information may be considered confidential and proprietary information of LP&L. See City of Lubbock's Employee Policy Manual,§ 8.0l(B)(l)(e). I am also worried that Mr. Zheng is trying to force me out of the organization because of my knowledge of his disclosures.”

A call has been placed to Sharyland to invite the company to respond.
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