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Friday, July 15, 2011

Worker Fired for Blowing the Whistle after speaking with Mike Mason Fights Back

Steve Sherman
A DOT Whistleblower fired after speaking with Four in your Corner is fighting to get his job back. Today he met with county officials to plead his case and says he will sue the county if he doesn't get re-hired.
County officials claim Steve Sherman was fired because they were changing his job title and happened to look through his records and found some baggage in his past but Sherman says it's only because he blew the whistle on D.O.T. problems and now he wants his old job back.

Today Sherman prepared for his hearing with Lee County's Human Resources Department. He was fired on Wednesday and given just two days to refute the county's claims against him. He's now fighting to get his job back and his ammunition is a stack of documents.

Four in you Corner’s investigator Mike Mason was not allowed to attend the hearing but Sherman feels he presented a good case. He says, “ They can fire me any time any day but over these charges, no."
On Wednesday, Sherman was handed a document notifying him he was being terminated.Officials claim he violated county policies such as: having his driver's license suspended back in 2004 for a DUI arrest. His position required him to have a valid driver's license at the time.
But documents Sherman presented today show how supervisors accepted the circumstances of his arrest and reassigned Sherman to a position that didn't require him to drive. Sherman states, "That indemnifies me as far as notifying H.R. and notifying the county attorney who agreed to maintain me on the payroll in a limited working capacity back then."

The county also claimed Sherman failed to notify management after being arrested for violating an injunction in 2008. Today his supervisors provided written statements saying he *did* notify them.

Sherman says, "I presented all of this to H.R. today and they said they'd get back to me some time next week.” Sherman was fired just one day after he met with the Clerk of Courts office and requested Whistle-blower protection for speaking with FOX 4 and voicing accusations that D.O.T. officials use harassment, intimidation and are wasting taxpayer money.
Attorney Jason Gunter represents other county employees who were fired after blowing the whistle and says Sherman meets that specific criteria. Sherman says if he doesn't get his job back he will sue the county. "I'll definitely sue them for defamation of character, slander, harassment."
Sherman should know by next week if he'll be fired or re-hired. We'll stay on top of this and let you know.
To view the Fox 4 Report click here:

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