He was tenured, he was the dean of the university’s graduate school and he was the assistant vice president of research, but when this Valdosta State University professor complained that university research grants were misusing state and federal funds, he started an uproar. The former president and vice-president of the university apparently didn’t like what the professor had to say, but they could not fire him, so they allegedly demoted the professor instead. Now this whistleblower has taken his case to the Georgia Supreme Court, but will his pleas for justice be heard?
Do Whistleblowers Have Protection In Georgia?
The former assistant vice president of research at VSU filed several whistleblowing retaliation charges against VSU and its former administrators, and in the Fulton County Superior Court some of those charges were dismissed. However, the Georgia Court of Appeals saw the details differently, and reinstated part of the professor’s suit against the former president and vice-president of VSU.
Why Is The Professor Suing?
The professor claims that he was demoted in retaliation against complaints against the university over the violation of several state and federal laws. The demotion cost him $21,375 in annual salary. Now his case rides on the Georgia Supreme Court’s interpretation of a 2012 state law allowing individuals to sue over the misuse of state funding. If he wins, the professor could receive back pay, attorney’s fees, and his old position back.
What will the court’s decision be, and could that decision affect future whistleblower retaliation cases? Keep following our Georgia whistleblower blog to find out!
A message from the qui tam lawyers at the McArthur Law Firm in Macon, Georgia-Helping to protect the people who stand up for the law.