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Aug 11, 2014 02:27 AM EDT

Former Employee Files 'Whistleblower' Lawsuit against Northern New Mexico


Angelo Jacques, a former employee of the Northern New Mexico College, has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the school for unlawful termination. The complaint has been filed for damages under the Whistleblower Protection Act.

In the lawsuit filed in the state District Court, Jacques claimed that he was placed on administrative leave and then fired for revealing financial, administrative and management irregularities of the campus' technological systems.

He said that the college allocated federal grants for unapproved projects and violated state procurement codes with some contracts. Although some of the financial concerns highlighted in state audits in the last two years were corrected in 2012, certain others like internal financial controls were repeated in 2013.

Jacques' complaint - at least one of the computers was being used to surf online porn sites - was also ignored. The school's executive team dismissed repeated warnings and reports of violations and told him to stop digging.

"They pretty much wanted to silence me - change the subject, not discuss it. 'Don't worry about it, we'll take care of it,'" Santafe New Mexican reports.

Jacques said that the college has the right not to renew employees' contracts. But, being placed on administrative leave without an explanation and being escorted out of the campus by a security guard made him feel like "a common criminal."

"Mr. Jacques was not terminated; his contract was not renewed for legitimate business reasons. We look forward to our day in court and hope that the media takes as much interest in the case as it did with the accusations," said Ricky Serna, vice president for institutional advancement at the college.

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