Search Site

Lawsuit Claims New Jersey Rent Assistance Program Fired Whistleblower

New Jersey’s Department of Community Affairs has been accused of firing their chief financial officer, after he informed the agency’s leaders about waste and conflicts of interest in the state’s COVID-19 rent assistance program.

Case background

The plaintiff claimed that he was fired by Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver in April after he asked to work from home, due to a disability. At the same time, he had separately told agency leaders that the $353 million rent assistance program lacked oversight and had been doling out overpayments.

The plaintiff had worked with a contractor to review the program, which awarded 4,000 very low income residents housing subsidies based on a lottery system. The review revealed that the system wrongly approved ineligible applicants, duplicate applicants, accepted incomplete documentation and issued overpayments. The plaintiff also claims that the contractor had a conflict of interest, as they were in charge of reviewing and approving applications. The review found an 18 percent error rate, costing the state hundreds of thousands of dollars.

When the plaintiff raised these issues with agency leaders, he suggested that they showed Sarbanes-Oxley violations. He suggested they take steps to fix the problem, while one leader said they should “do everything to protect” the department’s Director of Housing.

When the plaintiff returned to the office in April 2022, after working from home for several months, he was terminated without explanation. The plaintiff has also accused the agency of firing him to avoid accommodating his disability.

New Jersey has state-level whistleblower protections, which are designed to prevent situations like these.

If your employer is engaged in wrongdoing, state and federal whistleblower laws should shield you from retaliation. When an employer wrongfully retaliates, you have legal recourse. Contact the experienced whistleblower attorneys at Kardell Law Group to learn more about your options.

Awards & Honors
Our Office
  • Dallas Office
    4514 Cole Ave
    Dallas, Texas 75205
    Phone: 214-306-8045
    Fax: 469-729-9926
As Seen In
In his new book, "Standing Up to China: How a Whistleblower Risked Everything for His Country," former client & Author, Ashley Yablon, quotes Attorney Steve Kardell about Whistelblower Law.
  • "Steve Kardell was terrific in representing me in some very adversarial discussions with Citigroup and also later represented me in my testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission."  -Richard Bowen, Citigroup Whistleblower

  • "Incredible knowledge of employee related concerns and equally brilliant knowledge of health care regulations, standards of practice. I would recommend this firm to anyone."  -V.B.

  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

  • "Never thought my career would end like it did after 30 years of service. I was part of the first round of the so called reduction of force. I asked myself how can I be part of this with 30 years of seniority. How did they pick these 90 plus employees? Now, the culture of this organization made you question every decision they made. It wasn’t what you knew it’s was a culture of who you know. Nonetheless, I did not accept their severance package. I immediately starting looking for an attorney who would take on my case. After the initial call to Steve I had hope again. He was open and honest about everything and reassured me he would do his best for me, and he did. I had an awesome outcome. Thanks Steve you’re the best."  -S.S.