The former administrator of Macomb County Probate Court has filed whistleblower lawsuits, claiming he was fired because he told state investigators about a judge's alleged wrongdoing.
Donald Housey, who was removed as court administrator in January, claims in suits filed recently in federal court and Macomb Circuit Court that Probate Judge Kathryn George and Chief Probate Judge Mark Switalski retaliated against him. Housey's suits claim the retaliation occurred because he cooperated with investigations by the State Court Administrator's Office and the Judicial Tenure Commission into George's handling of cases, along with allegations of her excessive absences from the bench.
"This is a man who's been wronged, and we're trying to right the wrong," Housey's attorney Kathleen Bogas said.
Bogas filed Housey's lawsuits in both U.S. District Court and Macomb Circuit Court. "The federal court doesn't have jurisdiction over probate court, so we filed the whistleblower claims in both courts," she said.
The federal court filing also claims Switalski and George violated Housey's freedom of speech by retaliating against him for cooperating with the state investigations.
Chief Macomb Circuit Court Judge Pro Tem Diane Druzinski called the lawsuits "unfortunate," adding, "The facts will ultimately speak for themselves."
In addition to the alleged firing of Housey for providing information to the Judicial Tenure Commission, the lawsuits claim George retaliated against Housey by "publicly degrading and harassing" and "wrongfully reprimanding" him because he cooperated with a 2008 investigation by the State Court Administrator's Office.
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Former Macomb Court Adminstrator Sues Over Firing