The state Department of Health and Human Services in Maine will pay $142,500 to a former employee as a part of a settlement for a federal whistleblower suit.
That employee is Sharon Leahy-Lind, who was at one time a division director under the employment of the Maine Center for Disease Control. She filed a lawsuit claiming wrongful retaliation and harassment by her bosses after she refused to shred public documents. The documents were related to the Healthy Maine Partnerships program and the amount of funding it received. According to Leahy-Lind, the CDC wanted the documents destroyed so that the Sun Journal and the general public would not be able to see them, even though they were not meant to be classified.
The CDC has since admitted that employees were in fact instructed to destroy public documents. Those documents apparently showed that the CDC changed scoring after competitive grant processes were completed so that money would be sent to organizations that were specifically favored by leaders of the CDC, even if they hadn’t scored high enough to achieve the funds they were sent.
Leahy-Lind resigned from her position in July 2013 after her bosses allegedly made it impossible for her to do her job through their harassment and incidents of assault. She claims that higher-ups in the department publicly defamed her and violated many of her rights as an individual and an employee. As a part of the settlement, she agreed that she would not attempt to find another job within the Department of Health and Human Services.
While there is a confidentiality agreement within the settlement that prohibits the release of the full contents from either party, the amount of the settlement could not be released.
There are federal protections available to you if you act as a whistleblower exposing real violations. To learn more about your options, meet with a skilled Dallas attorney from Whistleblower Law for Managers.