NEW YORK, March 11 (Reuters) - Former Energy Transfer Equity Chief Financial Officer Jamie Welch, who was fired last month, has sued the company for breach of contract, saying he believes his "termination was motivated by an agenda unrelated" to his performance.
Energy Transfer has been working to buy rival Williams Companies since June in an effort to build the largest U.S. pipeline company, but the deal has been beset by problems, including Welch's unexpected dismissal.
The company has not made any public statements about why Welch was terminated. Welch's departure was disclosed in a Friday night filing with U.S. regulators.
A spokesman for Energy Transfer could not be immediately reached for comment on Welch's lawsuit, which was filed on Thursday in Dallas County, Texas.
Welch, a former investment banker at Credit Suisse, joined Energy Transfer in 2013.
In the lawsuit, Welch said Energy Transfer had breached its contract by not paying his 2015 bonus, his long term incentive share or converting some of his Class D units into ETE common units.
He also said that he had been promised the opportunity to invest in or be granted an interest in Energy Transfer's Lake Charles, Louisiana, liquefied natural gas project, but that ETE reneged on the offer.
(Reporting by Michael Erman; editing by Grant McCool)
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