Thursday, April 22, 2010

Whistleblower Lawsuits Filed Against Malcomb County Judges

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.

Full Article and Source:
Former Macomb Court Adminstrator Sues Over Firing


Anonymous said...

It's celebration time in Macomb County!

Standup said...

All judges should be investigated from time to time to see that they're doing their job properly.

I have heard Kathryn Goerge's name as a presiding judge in guardianship cases.

Max said...

Good for you, Donald Housey!

Barbara said...

It takes guts to stand up and speak up when you've been wronged. Good luck, Mr. Housey.

Norma said...

Retaliation is a real consideration in many cases. I am glad to see a spotlight shining on it!

Jes said...

Good - someone needs to get out some disinfectant as well and clean things up!

Lou said...

Kudos to Donald Housey!! A man willing to stand up and speak up, for the truth. Way to go.

Anonymous said...

Housey's firing was politically-charged, fueled by his previous alliance with former Chief Justice Pamela O'Sullivan. Hearsay: A few years back, both planned to topple Kathryn George's election bid and become the two sitting judges; George won, taking O'Sullivan's place as Chief, leaving Housey as Court Administrator. Coincidentally, just before he was fired, Housey claimed that he sent my mother's case files to the SCAO, as an agent there requested. SCAO agent denied that he had made the request; later he affirmed but said there was no evidence of foul play in the cases.