WASHINGTON (AP) _ The FBI agreed Thursday to pay a settlement worth more than $1.16 million to agent Frederic Whitehurst, the whistleblower who triggered an overhaul of the FBI crime laboratory.

Whitehurst returned to work from a yearlong suspension Thursday and voluntarily resigned as part of the deal.

In the 16-page settlement, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, the FBI agreed to pay $1.166 million now to purchase annuities that would pay the 50-year-old chemist-agent annual amounts equal to the salary and pension he would have earned had he kept working until normal FBI retirement at age 57.

Under terms of the settlement, the FBI will pay $258,580 in legal fees to Whitehurst's lawyers and the Justice Department will drop all consideration of disciplinary action against him.

In a brief statement acknowledging Whitehurst's return to work and his decision to resign as of Friday, the FBI said, ``Dr. Whitehurst played a role in identifying specific areas (of the lab) to be examined and some of the issues he noted resulted in both internal and external reviews.''

For 10 years, Whitehurst, a lab supervisor who was once the FBI's top bomb residue expert, complained mostly in vain about lab practices. But his efforts finally led last April to a scathing 500-page study of the lab by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Bromwich.

Bromwich blasted the world-renowned lab for flawed scientific work and inaccurate, pro-prosecution testimony in major cases including the Oklahoma City and World Trade Center bombings. Bromwich recommended major reforms, discipline for five agents that is still under consideration, and transfer of Whitehurst to other duties.

But he also criticized Whitehurst for ``overstated and incendiary'' allegations of intentional misconduct that Bromwich's investigators did not find.