WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Jury Sides with Fired Employee

Feb 11, 2013

A jury has sided with a former Lee County employee in his wrongful termination lawsuit.

The panel of five men and three women deliberated for about two hours before returning a unanimous verdict in favor of Rick Carter.

Carter sued the county after being fired in November 2010.

He has said he was fired because he spoke out about a number of issues, including a sewer system, a water line and financial records.

The county countered that Carter was not fired for being a whistleblower, but rather for issues like communications and management.

The jury’s verdict includes a stipulation that the county compensate Carter $186,000 for past lost wages and past lost fringe benefits.

The panel did not offer him anything for future lost wages or fringe benefits.

It’s unclear whether the county will appeal the ruling.  A request for comment from several Lee County Supervisors has not been answered.