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Former Lee County Employee Trial Delayed

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A former Lee County employee will have to wait a little longer to have his day in court.

Judge William Dowell has ruled that the trial in the case of Rick Carter versus Lee County will now run from Tuesday, Feb. 5 through Friday, February 8.

The trial was scheduled to begin on Tuesday, January 15, but conflicts for Carter’s attorney had for previously scheduled trials led Judge Dowell to order the delay during a pre-trial hearing.

Carter filed the lawsuit against Lee County in May 2011.

In it, he claimed that he was fired from his position as Maintenance Director in November 2010 for being a whistle blower.

Court documents show that Carter says he told members of the Lee County Board of Supervisors, law enforcement officers and other elected leaders about rule violations, an abuse of funds, and mismanagement.

In November 2010, then-Board of Supervisors Chairman Rick Larkin told Tri States Public Radio that Carter’s dismissal had to do with leadership and administrative deficiencies.

Larkin said Carter failed to pay invoices in a timely manner, failed to document project costs and had trouble communicating with others.

This is the second time the trial has been delayed.  It was originally set for August 2012, but the lawyers for both sides asked for it to be continued.

Carter made an unsuccessful bid for a seat on the Lee County Board of Supervisors last fall, losing to District 1 Supervisor Ron Fedler.