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Georgia Department Of Public Health Lawyer Says Dr. Toomey Fired Her In Retaliation

Georgia Department of Public Health commissioner Kathleen Toomey speaks during a coronavirus briefing at the Capitol Friday, July 17, 2020, in Atlanta.
Georgia Department of Public Health commissioner Kathleen Toomey speaks during a coronavirus briefing at the Capitol Friday, July 17, 2020, in Atlanta.
Credit John Bazemore / AP Photo

Jennifer Dalton wanted to work a few more years in her role as legal counsel for the state, before taking a full retirement. But almost immediately, an investigation by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that Dalton began resisting what she calls “potential violations of state and federal law.”

Assigned to the Department of Public Health at the early stages of the pandemic, Dalton said that same resistance to pressure from the department’s commissioner, Dr. Kathleeen Toomy, cost her her job.

AJC investigative reporter Alan Judd spoke with WABE’s “All Things Considered” host Jim Burress about Dalton’s allegations.

In a letter seeking nearly $800 thousand in lost compensation and retirement benefits, Dalton alleges she was fired in retaliation for questioning a $14 million, no-bid contract during the COVID-19 pandemic – awarded to a company with personal ties to Toomey.

Lily Oppenheimer contributed to this report.