DETROIT (CN) – A court administrator claims in court that a city judge fired her for testifying to the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission about another judge, who was found guilty last week of misusing public funds.
In Wayne County Court, Pamela Anderson sued Garden City and its 21st District Court; the City of Inkster and its 22nd District Court; Richard Hammer Jr., who now is chief judge of both courts; and Sally Huskins, Anderson’s former boss.
Anderson says she cooperated with the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission’s investigation of longtime Inkster Chief Judge Sylvia James.
James was convicted on April 24 of “misconduct for misusing public funds and failing to establish policies that would document the use of public money – a ruling that may lead her to losing her judgeship,” the Detroit Free Press reportedon April 25.
Defendant now presides over the Garden City and Inkster district courts, the complaint states.
“[The] defendant Judge reacted with displeasure to the way Pam Anderson, plaintiff, participated in the investigation/inquiries, and started to accuse her, and make baseless accusations, that plaintiff Anderson had made a ‘deal’ in order to testify one way or the other,” Anderson says in her complaint.
It continues: “That plaintiff also engaged in protected activity throughout her employment by reporting violations or suspected violations of laws, rules and/or regulations, and/or by participating in an investigation/inquiry/hearing.
“That following plaintiff’s reports and/or participation, defendants’ retaliatory practices escalated.
“That on or about September 2011, plaintiff Anderson was appointed as a magistrate by an independent third-party judge.
“That at some point in time there was a relationship created between the 21st District Court and the 22nd District Court that made defendant judge the chief judge over the 22nd District Court of Inkster and the boss of plaintiff Anderson.
“That while Defendant Judge was supervisor/boss over plaintiff Anderson, he would treat her differently from other employees, for example, including but not by way of limitation, he would not talk to her, he would not invite her to certain meetings, and he would not disseminate staff-wide memorandums to plaintiff.”
Anderson claims that Hammer removed her as court administrator and replaced her with defendant Huskins on March 9.
The complaint states:
“That on March 16, 2012, plaintiff Anderson was told to delete two cases from the system.
“That plaintiff reported to a clerk messenger from defendant Huskins that deleting the cases in this manner would be a violation of the law and/or against important rules, regulations and policies. She also mentioned that to comply with policies and procedures, a request of this nature would need to be in writing from a supervisor.
“That immediately after plaintiff’s reporting of the suspected violations of laws, rules and/or regulations, defendant Judge displayed displeasure and even outright anger.
“That in fact, within 20 minutes of Pamela Anderson, plaintiff, asking that Defendant Huskins put this request in writing, Pamela Anderson, plaintiff, was terminated, given a half hour to clean out her office, and banned from the building.”
Anderson seeks more than $100,000 in damages for whistleblower violations, outrage, damages to her reputation and emotional distress.
She is represented by Tom Pabst.