WASHINGTON, DC, November 9, 2004 ENS) - The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has fired the biologist who publicly challenged its reliance on flawed studies about the habitat and population of the endangered Florida panther, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The veteran biologist, Andrew Eller, Jr., intends to mount a legal challenge to his termination. PEER will represent him in that challenge.
The agency's action comes 10 weeks after a federal court found the agency guilty of scientific fraud on the same grounds raised by the terminated employee.
"This case is about whether scientific dissent will be tolerated under the Bush administration," said PEER General Counsel Richard Condit who will be leading Eller's legal challenge of his firing. "A federal court found the agency knowingly used junk science to okay projects, but the official committing the fraud gets a commendation while the one who exposed it is fired."
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