Chesterton Tribune



Fired animal control officer in lawsuit claims he was harassed for whistleblowing

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A former Porter County Animal Control Officer has filed two back-to-back lawsuits against the Porter County Sheriff’s Department, Sheriff David Lain, and the Porter County Animal Shelter alleging that he was discharged for whistleblowing and that the Sheriff’s Department has failed to pay him earned wages.

Jeffery Jackson, who was employed by the Sheriff’s Department from November 2009 through October 2012, filed a complaint on May 14 saying the sheriff “repeatedly failed to pay” earned and timely wages. In his complaint, Jackson claims his employment as an animal control officer was terminated when he told Lain about the wages owed to him.

A second complaint filed by Jackson on May 15, which also names Chief Deputy Steve Lawrence and Capt. Thomas Henderson of the Sheriff’s Police as defendants as well as Lain and the Animal Shelter, said Jackson was terminated after informing superiors of activities he saw to be illegal occurring at the Animal Shelter and the Sheriff’s Department.

The complaint says Jackson was “continually harassed by fellow employees” because he was a whistleblower. Jackson alleges he was “cussed out” numerous times by his fellow officers and felt threatened when he asked questions. Other accusations include superiors failing to provide Jackson with a safe work environment, according to the complaint.

Jackson is seeking compensation for medical bills, punitive damages, attorney costs, and also two times the amount of back pay owed to him, the complaint said.

Representing Jackson in the matter is Merrillville Attorney Kevin W. Vanderground. Both suits have been assigned to Porter County Superior Court Judge William Alexa’s court.


Posted 5/30/2013






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