According to Fort Madison Daily Gate, a former county employee has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against Lee County after the county board terminated him in mid-November on a 4-1 vote. Former County Maintenance Director Rick Carter claimed his employment was wrongfully terminated and that the county violated the state’s whistle blower rules. Carter was not present at the vote but requested by letter that the meeting remain open during the discussion of his employment with the county.
Carter’s wrongful termination lawyer filed the suit in Lee County District Court alleging that Carter made disclosures of information to the board of supervisors and other public officials that the board had engaged in violations of the rules of the state of Iowa, mismanagement, gross abuse of funds, abuse of authority and substantial danger to public health and safety.
Carter alleges that he was wrongfully terminated because of these disclosures and that if they were found to be true that would lead to the second charge against the county, that of the violating the whistle blower statute in sections 70A.28 and 29 of the Iowa Code.
The statutes say an employee cannot be terminated or denied a promotion if he or she points out those items of which Carter is accusing the board of supervisors of doing. Carter’s wrongful termination attorney said the client would not discuss these violation allegations in details as the case is still in its early discovery phase. Carter had shared his concerns with the supervisors over the work of some contractors working on a county jail project. The board asked him to take his concerns to the construction manager of the project and not to discuss it directly with the contractors. Carter’s suit seeks that he be entitled to back wages from when he was terminated and possibly be given his position back with the county.