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Jury awards ex-Ada County employee $1.7 million in whistleblower case

Posted: 9:42 AM, Mar 15, 2017
Updated: 2017-03-17 04:15:54Z

A former Ada County employee who filed a whistleblower lawsuit alleging he was retaliated against and wrongly fired has been awarded $1.7 million.

The Idaho Statesman reports Rich Wright's attorney says a jury awarded the money to his client Tuesday.

Wright had been the head of the county Department of Administration before he was fired in 2013.

Wright claimed he was terminated by the Board of Commissioners for launching an investigation into one of his employees for harassment. Wright's lawsuit claims the employee had been a close friend of two county commissioners.

A district judge initially dismissed the case, saying Wright's claims didn't fall under the Whistleblower Act.

But Wright appealed, and the Idaho Supreme Court sent the case back to trial court.

Ada County officials have said Wright's termination came as part of a restructuring of the department.

(by Associated Press)