Search Site

New Jersey Supreme Court Ruling Opens Door for School Board Clerk to be Indicted

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently ruled, in a 6-1 decision, that an employee of the North Bergen School Board may be indicted for taking documents from the district, even though she claims she planned to use them in a discrimination lawsuit against the board. The decision meant the denial of a motion by Ivonne Saavedra, the school board clerk, to dismiss official misconduct and theft charges levied against her.

Saavedra filed a lawsuit in 2009 against the North Bergen School Board, saying she had been the victim of ethnic, gender and sexual discrimination. However, much of the evidence she used in her case were confidential records taken or copied from the district, which were protected by state and federal privacy laws. As a result, she was indicted in 2012 on these charges and faced five to 10 years in prison.

Saavedra ultimately dropped her own lawsuit, fearing attorneys in her criminal case could use her testimony against her. She then moved to dismiss the indictment, but had her motion denied by local and appellate judges en route to her hearing at the state Supreme Court.

A broad impact on whistleblower issues

The state Supreme Court’s decision could have wide-reaching effects on whistleblower cases in the United States. It means whistleblowers must be careful about the types of evidence they collect, and are still bound by state and federal laws regarding the privacy of certain documents.

For more information on how to properly collect evidence in a whistleblower case, contact experienced Dallas Attorney Steve Kardell at Whistleblower Law for Managers right away.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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.