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Former Livingston County employee files whistleblower lawsuit

The former veterans services director of Livingston County, Michigan, has filed a lawsuit against the county and the chairman of its Veterans Services Committee, contending he was fired for reporting what he perceived as misconduct by the chairman.

The man, who filed the lawsuit Nov. 21, said he reported his suspicions that the chairman was misappropriating donations that had been received by the department.

He contends in the lawsuit that he received an email in August from a local resident, worried that she had never received a receipt from the veterans affairs department for her donation of $400, vacuum cleaners and a lawnmower. She said in her lawsuit that she gave the money to the chairman and had asked repeatedly for a receipt.

The former employee said he told the county administrator of the woman's complaint that same day, and the administrator requested Michigan State Police to investigate.

Four days later, the Veterans Services Committee voted 4-1 to fire him.

The plaintiff is asking for both lost wages and his job back. The county already has filled his position.

"I'm hoping Livingston County does the right thing about the veterans services office," the man told the Livingston Daily. "They need to look at who participates and how appropriate they are for the positions. ... I would love to have my job back, thought I was doing a good job and helping a lot of people."

The previous interim director of the veterans services department also has filed a lawsuit, claiming gender and age discrimination as well as a violation of Michigan's Civil Rights Act for her dismissal from the position.

Both Michigan law and federal law protects workers from being fired for reporting wrongdoing. Anyone who believes they have been fired in violation of whistleblower laws should contact a Michigan attorney experienced in workplace cases.

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