Close on the heels of Tesla CEO’s open battle with regulator SEC regarding Elon Musk’s Twitter comments, allegations of the CEO’s witch hunt of a whistleblower within the company is tumbling out.

According to a report by Bloomberg, Musk unleashed a vindictive course of action against a former Tesla car employee who passed some information to a media person about the huge wastage and unsafe batteries inside the factory.

According to reports, the worker in question, Martin Tripp, employed at the assembly line at Tesla’s Gigafactory battery plant in Nevada, had informed a reporter about the wastage and inefficiencies that are costing Tesla at least $150 million.

The CEO went out of the way to trace him, singled him out and put him into surveillance and sought to implicate in a mass shooting conspiracy.

The company also sued him for a hefty amount charging stealing of trade secrets.

As soon as the media report on Tesla came out, Musk wanted to find out the source that leaked the information and tasked a detective agency to get that person.

They identified Tripp as the source. Musk doubted that he shared the data not only with the media but also handed out information to “unknown third parties including oil companies and competing automakers.”

The infuriated boss sought to project the employee Martin Tripp as a lunatic and cooked up a story that he planned to shoot up the car factory.

Tesla’s PR the department also reportedly joined the rumor mongering and spread disinformation that Tripp was homicidal and conspired to sabotage the company.

On Twitter, Musk lampooned the media reporter Linette Lopez as a recipient of money from short sellers and claimed Tripp also took bribes as a reward for passing “valuable Tesla IP.” But the reporter denied the allegation.

The ordeal of the ex-employee

On June 20, Tesla sued Tripp for $167 million. The very same day Tripp was approached by a local sheriff’s department saying they got information that he was “planning a mass shooting at the Tesla factory.”

Sean Gouthro, a former Gigafactory security manager who later quit Tesla told police that he received an anonymous tip that Tripp was planning a massacre inside the factory. But law enforcement reported that they found Tripp innocent, “unarmed and in tears.”

The sheriff even refused to make Tesla’s compliant public as no threat existed. But the next morning, a Tesla man called up a reporter and said the company had “a phone call from a friend of Mr. Tripp that he would be coming to the Gigafactory to ‘shoot the place up.”

Gouthro shared a whistleblower account with the regulator SEC and said Musk’s investigators tapped Tripp’s phone and mounted surveillance on him. Musk’s team also kept the police in the dark about this internal surveillance.

The security manager asserted that Tripp never tried to sabotage Tesla. Despite that Musk sought to damage his reputation by spreading misinformation.

Tripp was a former U.S. Navy electronics technician and only wanted more order in the workplace. He was disappointed at the constant state of flux in the factory where scrap and parts lie scattered and that seemed unsafe and wasteful to him.

Security officer’s shocking revelations

Gouthro said Tesla’s security team that investigated Tripp hacked into his phone and read his texts in real time. They also installed a device at the factory that “monitored everyone’s private communications.”

Gouthro also shared horrifying accounts of the goings on inside the Gigafactory. He said many employees were on drugs and some had sex in the remote parts of the factory.  GettyImages-Elon Musk SpaceX founder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk (L) and Canadian musician Grimes (Claire Boucher) attend the 2018 Space X Hyperloop Pod Competition, in Hawthorne, California on July 22, 2018. Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Tripp confronts Musk

After his expulsion from Tesla, Tripp found his confidential private information appearing in an online form with details of his residence and other information.

In an email, he told Musk. “You have what’s coming to you for the lies you have told to the public and investors.”

But the chief executive retorted, “Threatening me only makes it worse for you,” and called him a “horrible human being.”

Tripp is now running a GoFundMe page to raise money for his legal bills in battling Tesla.

Musk’s treatment of Tripp may complicate the CEO’s legal and regulatory problems.   However, Tesla denied all allegations and said they were baseless.