Federal judge refuses to dismiss whistleblower lawsuit

Posted at 10:59 AM, May 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-28 12:59:19-04

A federal judge has narrowed the claims in a whistleblower case against the Idaho Department of Labor -- but indicated he'll likely allow the case to go to a jury trial.

The Idaho Press-Tribune reports that U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill rejected a motion from the state to dismiss the case.

The state claims former Department of Labor Purchasing Agent James Cryer was pressing a personal grudge -- not exercising First Amendment-protected free speech -- when he complained about purchasing and personnel violations at the department.

After Cryer's concerns went unaddressed, he sent seven anonymous e-mails pressing them.

The department responded by issuing a subpoena to determine who sent the e-mails. When Cryer was identified, he was fired.

The 28-year state employee was two years short of full retirement.

The department's lawyer told the court Friday the department saw Cryer's final e-mail as a threat.

(by Associated Press)