TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – A Florida appeals court panel has split on whether a state worker's whistleblower complaint was rightly dismissed only because it offered no details on wrongdoing in the Department of Elder Affairs.
A 1st District Court of Appeals panel ruled against former South Regional Ombudsman Clare Caldwell on Monday.
Two judges agreed that the Florida Commission on Human Relations was right to drop Caldwell's complaint.
She said she was fired in 2011 after complaining to federal investigators about "gross misfeasance and malfeasance'' in the department's ombudsman office but didn't explain what had happened. The majority said Caldwell failed to state a case.
But Chief Judge Robert T. Benton II dissented. He said the commission should have investigated Caldwell's claims. Instead it acted as "judge, jury and executioner'' in dismissing her allegations.
*Pictured above is Clare Caldwell.