Whistleblower Claims Waste and Incompetence in Legal Department
Whistleblower Holly Smith claims that sloppy legal work cost tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars in unnecessary claim settlements. The former assistant attorney for Atlanta filed suit against the city, accusing her superiors of incompetence and committing legal malpractice.
During her short tenure — employed for just one year — Smith launched complaints up the chain of command. Her first complaint was filed just 11 days after starting. Smith observed, "Very minimal discovery was being done and in a number of cases plaintiffs had not even been deposed. No witnesses to my knowledge in any case were ever deposed." As a result of such sloppy legal work and "gross mismanagement," the city wasted resources. Finally, the city fired Smith because she complained about the way her supervisor handled cases.
The city, represented by Lesli Dent, denies the merit of Smith's claims, citing as support the conclusions of a report conducted by a private investigation firm. "What the report concluded was there had been no wrongdoing, no incompetence, no malpractice and indeed, all that was at issue here were differences in legal strategy and judgment," Dent said.
Whistleblowers are protected at the state and federal levels. The Georgia Whistleblower Act (GWA) protects government employees who make complaints about fraud, waste and abuse in state and local government programs. The law, which only applies to state public employees, encourages employees to report potential violations without fear of retaliation including discharge, suspension, or demotion.
Federal employees are protected under The Whistleblowers Protection Act. Recently President Obama signed into law The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012. The purpose of the law is to clarify more specifically the conditions under which federal employees who blow the whistle on waste, fraud and other violations of the public trust within federal agencies are protected.
If you have a whistleblower case, call The Reddy Law Firm, P.C . We will help you secure your rights and stand up against government misconduct.