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Suspended BPA Exec. Reinstated Just To Testify To Congress

Bonneville Power Administration

 A top executive at the Northwest's biggest electricity wholesaler defended her agency in front of Congress Thursday.

Bonneville Power Administration chief operating officer Anita Decker and her boss were both placed on indefinite leave last month. This, after the Department of Energy's inspector general found evidence of hiring bias against veterans and retaliation against whistle blowers.

Decker was reinstated for four days this week, just long enough to prepare testimony for the U.S. House Oversight Committee.

"I would like to state that I would never knowingly allow BPA to implement policies or practices that violate federal veterans hiring (rules)," Decker said. "I am proud of BPA's record of veteran hiring, both personally and professionally."

Decker's appearance in front of the Republican-led watchdog committee is the first time either of the suspended BPA executives has spoken publicly about their ouster.

The Energy Department inspector general also testified. He said more whistle blowers have come forward with allegations since the hiring scandal broke in mid-July.

Now semi-retired, Tom Banse covered national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reported from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events unfolded. Tom's stories can be found online and were heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.