MAYWOOD (CBS) — Maywood’s former director of building and planning filed a lawsuit Thursday, alleging the city manager illegally fired him after he complained to the FBI that city council members were misusing public funds.

In the suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, David Mango contends that Maywood officials violated his rights under the California Labor Code when he was terminated last August after an article appeared in the Los Angeles Times reporting that Maywood was under scrutiny over two city deals.

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Mango was quoted in the article as saying that he had worked undercover for the FBI for about four months, wearing a recording device and attending outings with officials from an engineering firm that allegedly bribed Maywood officials.

He told KNX 1070’s Chris Sedens that in recent years he began to see transactions that didn’t make any sense. He has worked for the city since 1989.

“Repaving a million dollars worth of streets that had been repaved seven years earlier… these are streets that are supposed to have 20-30 year life spans,” Mango said, adding that, “so I went to Maywood PD and said ‘I think some of your councilmen are doing something improper.’ They referred me to the FBI.”

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“David Mango has a constitutional right to speak to the FBI about corruption, bribes and other unsavory activity because it impacts every person who lives in Maywood,” his attorney, Dan Stormer, said. “It’s outrageous that instead of commending Mr. Mango for being a good citizen, Maywood fired him.”

“David Mango put his life on the line to rid the city of corrupt officials,” said co-counsel Scott Ames. “And this is the thanks he gets.”

KNX 1070 Newsradio contacted Maywood’s city manager and was told the city doesn’t wish to comment on the lawsuit at this time.

Mango’s lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, includes the city of Bell which for a period of time was contracted to run certain Maywood city services.

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