An employee of the Camden Parking Authority in New Jersey recently filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the agency and her boss, alleging ongoing payroll fraud, public corruption and rigged bidding processes. She also claims to have been a victim of retaliation for reporting the wrongdoing.
In her lawsuit, Nicole Rojo says she was fired in March after reporting her concerns to the executive director of the authority, Willie Hunter Sr. Her lawsuit also contains allegations of racial discrimination, as she says Hunter treated her differently after learning she was of Greek heritage, and not Hispanic as he had believed.
Plaintiff says she faced retaliation
Rojo was recruited for her position in March 2018 as an executive assistant to Hunter, making $52,000 per year. She became a project manager within three months, a promotion that came with a $13,000 raise. However, two months later, Hunter learned Rojo was not Hispanic. At around the same time, she had job responsibilities taken away from her, and she allegedly started to be randomly disciplined and excluded from executive meetings.
Rojo also claims Hunter “enriched himself” by using his position to award contracts to businesses that were selected ahead of time, rather than going through the standard competitive bidding process. He did this allegedly in exchange for kickbacks. She claims that when Hunter learned Rojo was aware of the scheme, he demanded she return a key to a filing cabinet that contained files related to bidding. A locksmith later changed the locks so that Hunter had the only key.
For the guidance and advice you need if you believe you’ve been a victim of retaliation or wrongful termination after serving as a whistleblower, contact an experienced attorney at Kardell Law Group.