The civil engineer who was denied federal money to build a $1 billion pipeline in Iowa after the Great Sioux River Flood was not only denied a Federal Grant but was also denied a job with the federal agency she worked for.
In a lawsuit filed Monday, Kaitlin Rieger, the Iowa civil engineer, is seeking compensation for pain, suffering and loss due to the discrimination, and other damages.
The lawsuit also names President Donald Trump, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as defendants.
The suit, filed in U.s.
District Court in Des Moines, seeks an injunction barring the Corps of Engineering from discriminating against Riegers because of her race and sex.
The civil engineer’s attorneys said they are confident that the lawsuit will be successful, but they are concerned that the court’s order could lead to retaliation against the Iowa Civil Engineer.
“There is no indication that there is any retaliatory intent or any intent to harm the Iowa State Civil Engineer,” Riegar said in a statement.
“The Civil Engineers and the federal government should not discriminate based on race, sex, disability, religion or sexual orientation.”
In a statement Monday, the U to Congress said the Civil Engineers have “always worked tirelessly to ensure the safety and protection of all Americans and that includes our Native American and LGBTQI communities.”
“As civil engineers, we understand that building a pipeline is an important part of that safety work,” said U. to Congress Chair Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo.
“This lawsuit is yet another example of a civil engineer unfairly targeted by the Corps, and I’m confident this case will ultimately be resolved to the benefit of all Iowa taxpayers.”
Civil engineer Kaitlyn Riegler, center, arrives at the Iowa Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Rieggler has filed a lawsuit challenging a lawsuit from the Iowa state Civil Engineer that has accused the Corps and the Iowa government of discrimination.
The lawsuit comes at a time of increased scrutiny of the Corps’ handling of the flood, and the threat it poses to Native Americans in the state.
The Iowa Civil Engineers is the state agency tasked with building the Iowa pipeline.
It was initially awarded $10 million in federal flood insurance, and $7 million in state money to complete the project, but the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Corps were never able to meet their commitments.
The Corps has also not provided any of the state’s $11.5 million in funding to cover the cost of the pipeline and other infrastructure improvements.
The pipeline, called the Des Moines River Crossing Pipeline, was supposed to run through a section of Iowa farmland near Des Moines.
The federal government initially granted the Iowa River Crossing Project $4.8 million, and an additional $2 million was given to the Iowa Water Works Authority.
But the Corps didn’t pay its $10.5-million guarantee until May 2021.
The project’s completion was delayed because of the Iowa flood.
In response, Riegan and her colleagues worked to make the project safe for all parties involved.
Riesger helped coordinate and plan the construction of the first phase of the project and the initial phase of a second phase.
“When we started the project as a team, we knew the conditions would be tough and would be challenging, and we did everything we could to get that done,” Rieser said in an interview with The Associated Press.
The Des Moines Flood, which was devastating, was one of the largest in the history of the Great Lakes.
The Des Moines river, which is the main tributary of the Mississippi River, flooded the Iowa farmland, killing at least 25 people, according to the U of I’s Civil Engineers.
The river was at its widest point at its confluence with the Missouri River at the time of the disaster.
The flood made the Iowa farmlands unlivable for nearly four years, causing more than $1.3 billion in damages, according the lawsuit.
“We all have experienced that moment in time and I can only imagine how much it affected us,” Rieggers father, John Riegger, told the AP.
Rieger said she was frustrated by the lack of cooperation from the Corps.
“They didn’t listen to us, and they didn’t care about us,” she said.
“It’s like a slap in the face.”