A complaint was filed on Oct. 9 by a former city manager in California who claims that he was fired for investigating suspected illegal activities by city officials. According to the plaintiff, he was wrongfully discharged from his position because members of the city council in Colton wanted to cover up issues that he was investigating, including the misappropriation of public funds.
The lawsuit filed in San Bernardino Superior Court alleges that city officials violated the California Brown Act when they terminated the city manager’s employment. The state public meeting laws in the Brown Act, according to the plaintiff, should have allowed him to contest the allegations that were made about him in a public forum. He further alleges that the city did not allow him to address his charges at a public meeting because they knew he would potentially release information they wanted to keep hidden.
The former city manager is asking that a judge invalidate the termination so that he can publicly respond to his charges. If a judge rules in his favor, the city will not be able to hire a new city manager until the former manager’s case is resolved. The plaintiff is also requesting compensation for the working time that he has lost.
People who believe that they have been fired in retaliation for making a complaint or investigating corruption in their workplace may want to speak with an attorney who has experience in employment law matters. In some cases, the attorney may be able to help a client in this situation file a lawsuit that seeks recovery for the damages sustained due to the wrongful termination.
Source: San Bernardino Sun, “Fired Colton city manager sues alleging Brown Act violations“, Leslie Parrilla, October 10, 2014