A Fulton County, Georgia, Superior Court judge has denied a motion filed by the Georgia Lottery to dismiss a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former executive who claims he was fired in retaliation for refusing to support falsely inflated sales projections.
In his 2015 whistleblower complaint, Kenneth Knight, former vice president for financial management at the Georgia Lottery, alleges his boss and Georgia Lottery president Debbie Alford pressured him to present falsely inflated sales projections to the lottery board in an April 2014 meeting.
Mr. Knight alleged that he spoke out against the false projections but that they were presented to the board anyway.
He claims that he was fired from his job about a week after the meeting “because of events that took place in March and April of 2014 during the budget process which resulted in misleading information being distributed to our CEO and board of directors,” according to the complaint.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Mr. Knight says Ms. Alford had to cover up the fact that she knowingly presented inflated sales figures to the board, so she shifted the blame to him and fired him. He calls his wrongful termination “an act by [Alford] that is both unethical and illegal, and which was motivated solely by unlawful political influence.”
Lottery officials called Mr. Knight’s lawsuit “baseless” when he filed it in 2015, but Fulton County Superior Court Judge Alford Dempsey found the case had merit and should go to trial. According to the AJC, Judge Dempsey wrote Mr. Knight “exemplary” job performance reviews at the Georgia Lottery.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution