An employee of Kennesaw State University has filed a $1.5-million whistleblower retaliation lawsuit against the school, alleging she continues to be harassed for calling out ethics violations by certain university leaders.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Tracy Nunn, a former administrative assistant to the executive director of culinary services, filed the lawsuit Monday in the Superior Court of Fulton County, seeking compensation for the university’s alleged violations of the Georgia Whistleblower Protection Act.
The lawsuit comes amid a series of high-level firings and abrupt resignations that have plagued the university in recent months, including President Dan Papp, who resigned after 10 years at the helm and one month before news surfaced that he had violated several University System of Georgia policies.
“From the moment Ms. Nunn blew the whistle on the criminal activity she observed firsthand, her reputation has been slandered and she has suffered adverse work conditions and retaliatory isolation that has been intentional and fiercely imposed on Ms. Nunn by her supervisors, coworkers and the interim director of the department for which she works,” the whistleblower complaint alleges.
Ms. Nunn’s former supervisor, culinary services director Gary Coltek, listed Ms. Nunn as a registered agent for a company he was using to funnel money from food vendors seeking favor with the university – a scheme that he hoped would confuse the paper trail. Ms. Nunn was not aware that her name was being used until an investigative reporter contacted her with questions.
Mr. Coltek resigned after Ms. Nunn confronted him about the scheme.
Then the university tried to have Randall Shelton, head of the Auxiliary Services and Program, conduct Ms. Nunn’s job evaluation knowing that Mr. Shelton was one of the people Ms. Nunn blew the whistle on. She objected to the arrangement and went unevaluated for the year her whistleblowing activities occurred.
State investigators probing ethics violations and other misconduct at Kennesaw later found Ms. Nunn’s claims to be true and followed up with “widespread firings of top school staff,” according to the AJC.
The whistleblower lawsuit alleges the university’s actions are “characteristically retaliatory in nature and … the result of a coordinated and concerted effort on behalf of the administrator and directors of Kennesaw State University to make Ms. Nunn uncomfortable while at work and to effectively destroy Ms. Nunn’s career.”
An attorney representing Ms. Nunn told the AJC that his client “works in a closet” now and has been stripped of most of her responsibilities.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution