Vest whistleblower to get $5.7M in government settlement

DETROIT (AP) — The government says a Michigan college professor who blew the whistle on defective material in police vests will receive $5.7 million.

The Justice Department says the award is part of a $66 million settlement with a Japanese company and its U.S. subsidiary. Toyobo was accused of knowingly selling defective Zylon fiber that degraded in humidity and heat.

The government says the material was used in bulletproof vests until 2005. The vests were purchased by federal, state and local police departments.

The whistleblower was Aaron Westrick, who teaches criminal justice at Lake Superior State University in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. He formerly worked at Second Chance Body Armor, which made vests with Zylon fiber in northern Michigan.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday that selling defective material is “dishonest” and puts lives at risk.

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