Legal representatives for H. Fred Walker, president of the Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, have reacted to a claim submitted by a previous staff member that names Walker and the University as offenders.
Michael J. Hilbert declared he was fired from his $105,000-a-year job because he declined Walker’s demand to develop a storage shed to house his searching equipment on the premises of his main house.
In initial objection to a suit submitted by Hilbert, previous director of centers management and preparation at Edinboro, Walker declares the Erie County Common Pleas Court has no jurisdiction over the case which Hilbert’s claim under the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Law is unsuitable.
Inning accordance with Hilbert’s claim, submitted in May, Walker very first asked him about constructing a shed to store excess searching equipment throughout a reception held for the inbound president on May 23, 2016.
Hilbert stated he informed Walker it would protest standards to construct a structure on the premises of the Commonwealth House, the president’s house.
When Walker pushed the issue, ensuring him it would be OKAY to change an existing potting shed currently on the property, Hilbert stated he forwarded the demand to the associate vice chancellor for centers at the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
Inning accordance with Hilbert’s suit: “Mr. Hilbert was consequently notified by the Associate Vice Chancellor that the demand by H. Fred Walker was improper.”.
Hilbert, who declares his performance evaluations were constantly satisfying, was put on administrative leave on Sept. 9, 2016, and ended from his position on Oct. 28, 2016.
Hilbert, who stated he was fired in retaliation for his reporting of Walker’s efforts to use public funds to build a structure, is looking for reinstatement, back salaries and legal charges under the regards to Pennsylvania’s whistleblower law.
In objections submitted on Walker’s behalf by the Pennsylvania Deputy Attorney General Michael E. Kennedy, he declares that whistleblower law does not use in this case because public funds were never ever in fact used to construct a shed.
Inning accordance with Walker’s objections, “Plaintiff has actually pled a prospective infraction of a policy (developing the shed would, inning accordance with Plaintiff, be an offense of Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines). Whether Plaintiff is precise in his analysis of such standards is immaterial, as the shed was, inning accordance with the problem, never ever constructed. Action by Walker/ESU, while worrying, is not actionable under the whistleblower statute.”.
The bottom line, inning accordance with Walker’s objections, is that no money or resources were lost.
” A report of theoretical loss is inadequate to activate the Whistleblower Law’s security,” legal representatives for Walker stated in their legal objections.
A 2nd and maybe more essential objection likewise was raised– a claim that Erie County Court does not have jurisdiction.
” The Commonwealth Court has initial and special jurisdiction in all civil actions versus Commonwealth Agencies and Officers, other than those for which a particular statutory exception is otherwise offered,” Walker declared.