RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A 20-year state employee has filed a lawsuit after she claims her she was fired for alerting the SBI to two district attorneys hiring each others wives.
Debra Halbrook is seeking protection under the North Carolina Whistleblowers Act after she alerted the SBI of the scheme in 2016.
Halbrook was close to being fully vested when she was fired in January by District Attorney Wallace Bradsher “in a fit of rage,” according to a release.
Halbrook served as a legal assistance to Bradsher.
At that job, Halbrook said she uncovered the scheme where Bradsher, who serves Caswell and Person counties, and District Attorney Craig Blitzer hired each other’s wife to full-time position in 2015 but they would only work a few days a year. the district attorneys would have their staff falsify time reports.
Halbrook said she witnessed then Assistance District Attorney John Hoyte Stultz III falsify payroll information to show the women worked full time.
A release says the women collected more than $100,000 combined per year as part of the scheme.
A complaint says Bradsher’s wife resigned and Blitzer’s was fired.
Halbrook is seeking lost back pay, lost future earnings, lost health and retirement benefits, as well as punitive damages. The Whistleblower Act would entitle Halbrook to three times the amount of actual damages.
The SBI confirmed the offices of Bradsher and Blitzer are under investigation but would not provide further details.
CBS North Carolina will update this story as more information becomes available.