Township Director of Public Services cannot pursue Whistleblower claim
William Buell, the Township's Director of Public Services, sued Grand Blanc Township after he was demoted to Township Engineer and eventually terminated (when the Engineer position was eliminated "for financial reasons..."). Buell argued that the demotion and termination occurred because he had "blown the whistle" about an illegality in the fire chief's contract and the fact that the Township Supervisor lived outside the Township.
The Court upheld the summary dismissal of his case because he had no "proof" that his supervisors were angry about his whistle-blowing activity and his testimony that the Supervisor acted "differently" after his reports was mere "speculation." The Township's pretextual changes in organization were accepted at face value, even though they occurred immediately after Buell's [theoretically] protected whistleblowing activity.
The Court also held that the Township did not violate the Veteran's Preference Act. Buell must wonder today what he was fighting for.