A judge says New Castle County, Delaware’s former chief administrative officer can proceed with a defamation suit over his firing last year by County Executive Tom Gordon.
While dismissing David Grimaldi’s claims that his firing violated his First Amendment rights and county and state whistleblower laws, the judge ruled Thursday that Grimaldi’s defamation claim can proceed.
The judge’s ruling is noteworthy for declaring that whistleblower protections do not apply to high ranking appointees serving at the pleasure of the county executive and governor.
Grimaldi says Gordon falsely stated that he fired Grimaldi for trying to use his position to influence the outcome of a traffic stop.
Grimaldi says he was fired after questioning potential corruption and abuse of power within county government and criticizing Gordon’s personal relationship with a female county employee.
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