. . . And Politics Before Pregnant Teens (The Washington Post) 07/28/02
Contact: Mindy A. Daniels, Esq.
(301) 772-0939 or
cell: (202) 302-7441
D.C. WHISTLEBLOWER TAKES HAA TO COURT
Washington, D.C., Dec. 11 A public health analyst with the DC Department of Health’s HIV/AIDS Administration (DOH HAA) has filed a two million dollar lawsuit in DC Superior Court against DOH and its senior officials alleging violations of the DC Whistleblower Act and defamation.
Michael Snoddy invoked the protections of the Whistleblower Act when he testified on May 15, 2003 during a Committee on Human Services Oversight Hearing on HAA that former HAA Administrator Ronald Lewis condoned gross mismanagement of DC appropriated funds and fostered an atmosphere of bias, abuse of authority, fear and retaliation. Mr. Lewis has since been promoted to chief operating officer of the DC Department of Health by DOH Director James Buford.
During the hearing, Councilmember David A. Catania, who serves on the Committee on Human Services, warned HAA management not to retaliate against Mr. Snoddy. However, despite this warning, Mr. Snoddy said that retaliation began after the hearing.
Mr. Snoddy stated in his lawsuit, “Mr. Lewis abused his authority and lied in his testimony before the DC Council. Staff, service providers and clients are demoralized by fear and threats of retaliation. Reports of fiscal mismanagement have been made. I was defamed and retaliated against for speaking out. I am asking the Court to exercise its disciplinary powers under the Whistleblower statute. I hope that in the end of it all, my efforts will have a positive effect on the entire agency and the way it conducts business.”
Ms. Daniels states, “One witness has already signed an affidavit corroborating Mr. Snoddy’s allegations.”
Bob Summersgill, an officer with the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C. said, “Given the fiscal mismanagement at HAA, dishonesty with the public, the illegal interference with the grant process and Mr. Lewis’ retaliation against service providers with whom he may have had differences, Mr. Lewis should not have been promoted by Mr. Buford. He should be fired.”
HAA is the same agency that employed Errol Alderman and Michael Martin, who both plead guilty to involvement in the Teacher’s Union Scandal.
Mr. Snoddy is represented by Attorney Mindy Daniels, who served under Mayors Marion Barry and Sharon Pratt Kelly as a mayoral appointee to the Metropolitan Washington Regional HIV Health Services Planning Council. A preliminary court date has been set for January 9, 2004, before Judge Burgess.
For further information contact:
Mindy A. Daniels, Esq. (301) 772-0939 or cell: (202) 302-7441
Bob Summersgill, Gay & Lesbian Activists Alliance: (202) 265-8425