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An invoicing error allegedly causes a wrongful termination claim

After a Florida flood plan manager discovered a memo with a significant mathematical error, he never imagined that the situation would lead to him being fired. The man has filed a wrongful termination claim for what he perceived to be retaliation. His discovery was so far reaching that it resulted in the State Attorney's Office conducting an investigation and the information being taken to a grand jury.

The plaintiff had worked for Walton County for 10 years when he came across a memo that he deemed suspicious. The memo -- written in 2008 to the former department head by another staff member -- indicated that there had been a mistake in the calculation of a recreation fee. In 2005, a 5 percent recreation fee should have been charged on a project of about $12 million, which would have equated to a fee of more than $600,000. Instead, the invoice only charged the developer a little more than $600. The previous department head claims that she had never seen the memo prior to this year.

After being suspicious about his discovery, the plaintiff took the information to his superiors, but was reportedly shocked at their reaction. He alleges that his superiors started asking questions about the memo, and upper management was alerted of the situation. The plaintiff claims that after the memo was found, he noticed his superiors began to treat him differently. He maintains that the County Administrator and the County Commissioner created a hostile work environment and that he began to feel pressured.

The man was eventually fired for what he claims were false pretenses. He believes the real reason for his wrongful termination was because someone was potentially going to get a kick back from the "mistake." The information that the plaintiff discovered resulted in his superior being criminally charged in Florida with one count of misdemeanor perjury and one count of felony perjury. The result of his wrongful termination lawsuit against his superiors and the Walton County Commission is yet to be determined.

Source: nwfdailynews.com, "Planning official claims wrongful termination", Tom Mclaughlin Northwest, Sept. 18, 2015

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