A former city administrator in Michigan has filed a whistleblower lawsuit claiming that she was wrongfully terminated after making allegations that the mayor was steering money meant for families affected by the Flint water crisis to a campaign fund. The 39-year-old woman says she was fired in February because she reported the allegations to the city attorney and sought an investigation into the mayor’s alleged misconduct. She says she was informed of the alleged misdeeds by another city employee. After she reported the information, she was fired.
The woman had agreed to a five-year contract in 2014 to become the city administrator, a job that pays $140,000 annually. She had been the city manager in another area for seven years before taking this job.
When she asked why she was fired, she was told that the state could not afford to pay her any longer although the city paid her and not the state. The city council approved of the firing prior to learning that this was a whistleblower case. She subsequently filed her wrongful termination lawsuit.
With any high-profile investigation, there are often people caught up in it who were trying to do the right thing. They will sometimes lose their jobs as a result. Fortunately, when this does happen, those who have been subjected to wrongful termination for their acts as a whistleblower may be protected by the law and have the opportunity to file a lawsuit. Government employees who report wrongdoing should be aware of their legal rights. An experienced employment law attorney can help them fight for monetary damages and reinstatement.
Source: Detroit Free Press, “Fired Flint official files whistle-blower lawsuit against Weaver, city,” Tresa Baldas, May 10, 2016