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Judge Overturns Verdict Against Lee County


A six-figure verdict against Lee County in a wrongful termination lawsuit has been overturned.

Rick Carter was awarded nearly $200,000 in lost wages and benefits by a jury in early February.

He had said he was fired from his job as Maintenance Director for being a whistleblower.

In response to the verdict, Lee County asked the court to grant a new trial or issue its own ruling.

District Court Judge Mary Ann Brown has done the latter.  She set aside the verdict for Carter and ruled in favor of the county.

In her 17-page ruling, filed in the South Lee County Courthouse late Thursday afternoon, Brown said it is clear that Carter failed to prove his case.

She also added that the case should not have even gone to the jury based on the evidence.

Brown said everything Carter reported was either publicly known or well known by those involved in county government.

She said all costs associated with the case must be paid by Carter.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.