July 1 marked the beginning of the 2019-20 fiscal year for Glacier County officials–and the filing of yet another lawsuit against the County and several elected officials.
Former Glacier County EMS Director Amie Allison has filed a complaint against Glacier County and several county officials claiming:
•Constructive Wrongful Discharge
•Retaliation for being a Whistleblower
Allison’s attorney, Patrick Flaherty of Great Falls filed the complaint in Glacier County District Court on Monday, July 1. According to the complaint, Allison is seeking a judgment against Glacier County, Glacier County Clerk and Recorder Glenda Hall; Glacier County Commissioners Michael DesRosier, Thomas McKay, Ron Rides At The Door; Glacier County Human Resources Director Mike Kittson; and Glacier County Interim Treasurer Don Wilson.
MCA 39-2-903 defines constructive wrongful discharge as the “voluntary termination of employment by an employee because of a situation created by an act or omission of the employer which an objective, reasonable person would find so intolerable that voluntary termination is the only reasonable alternative…”
According to the complaint, Allison refused to “violate public policy” and Glacier County officials’ conduct was “malicious” in their treatment of Allison. She resigned her post on Aug. 7, 2018.
The complaint alleges Glacier County officials violated the Human Rights Act of Montana in their treatment and discrimination of Allison.
In the complaint, Flaherty outlines the “facts” of the case, pointing to the “serious financial mismanagement in the operation of County Government” dating back to the recall of former Treasurer Mary Ann Boggs and the “ongoing financial irregularities and failures to comply with GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) in the operation of County Government.”
The complaint points out Hall’s failure to complete “loan paperwork” for the EMS building that was approved for construction in 2014.
It also cites working conditions that were “so toxic and unbearable” Allison was forced to resign her position and a statement by Commissioner Rides At The Door on Aug. 1, 2018, “there is retaliation against Amie” and a “political agenda placed on Amie by the other Commissioners and Glenda (Hall).”
Flaherty notes in the complaint that Allison suggested to the Commissioners they “start with a forensic audit, expressing her concerns over county funds…Amie’s requesting of the forensic (audit) caused even more retaliation…”
The complaint alleges the “work conditions became unbearable. The open meeting violations, the retaliation and toxic environment made Amie physically ill…”
Flaherty is seeking a jury trial to find:
•Allison was constructively wrongfully discharged;
•Allison was a whistleblower;
•Allison was discriminated against;
And that Allison be awarded damages for lost wages, emotional distress, bodily injury and affirmative relief; as well as all costs, fees and other relief as the Court deems just and proper.