A complaint suit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Hammond by Rebecca
Carroll this week alleging she was unlawfully terminated from the Porter
County Animal Shelter after reporting instances of animal neglect and abuse
occurring at the Shelter last November to county officials.
Named as defendants are the County of Porter and all three current County
Commissioners – John Evans, Nancy Adams and Carole Knoblock.
According to the suit, Carroll was an employee of the Animal Shelter from
March 2010 to December 4, 2011. Carroll alleges that around November 2011,
she reported animal abuse to Evans and Kristina Montgomery, the interim
Shelter director at the time, and both did nothing to address the issues.
Carroll subsequently reported her concerns to County Council President Dan
A few days after County officials held a meeting on Dec. 4 to publicly
address animal shelter conditions, Carroll said she was discharged for
whistle-blowing against public policy and “baseless, unsubstantiated”
reasons that were not included in the Porter County Employee Handbook. She
says her termination was “in retaliation for exercising her right of free
speech and for performing her civic and lawful duty to report animal abuse
pursuant to Porter County Code.”
The suit says actions by the county are in violation of both the U.S. and
Indiana Constitutions which protect an individual’s right to free speech and
to speak out on matters of public concern.
The suit asks that the County compensate her for “damages, injuries,
attorney fees and costs” suffered as a result of her being fired.
The suit also says she has experienced “emotional distress, loss of wages,
loss of sleep, embarrassment and anxiety.”
Representing Carroll in the suit is Merrillville attorney Bryan K. Bullock.