Fired Contractors Allege Company Lied About Embassy Security

Two former security contractors in Afghanistan say in a lawsuit they were fired for questioning security problems at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

The two men's federal lawsuit, filed Thursday, charges that their former employer, ArmorGroup North America Inc., lied to the State Department when it bid on the contract to provide embassy security. The lawsuit claims the company misrepresented it capabilities, its experience and how many hours its contractors would work.

Company spokesman Patrick Toyne Sewell says the contractors, James Sauer of Massachusetts and Peter Martino of New Hampshire, are disgruntled former employees who are angling for an undeserved multimillion-dollar settlement.

The two men say they complained that budget constraints made it impossible to keep the embassy secure. The problems cited in the lawsuit occurred during a transition period before ArmorGroup took over embassy security last July.

The State Department said it investigated the claims and, after working with the company to improve some areas, officials are satisfied the embassy is secure and the contract is being adhered to.

Sauer and Martino are seeking at least $3 million apiece, citing wrongful termination, retaliation and other charges. The Virginia-based employer is part of the worldwide company ArmorGroup International, which has its headquarters in London.