Fraser Trebilcock attorneys Brian P. Morley and Brandon W. Zuk were successful in the wrongful discharge case for their client, Liane Shekter-Smith, who will receive $300,000 in back pay and other compensation from the settlement.
The complaint stemmed from Ms. Shekter-Smith's dismissal as the state's director of the formerly known Office of Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance in 2016 as a result of the findings of lead in the city of Flint's drinking water. Initially charged with a felony and misdemeanor originating from the findings, Fraser Trebilcock attorney Brian P. Morley was successful in negotiating a plea deal with prosecutors in 2019 that ultimately resulted in no criminal conviction for Ms. Shekter-Smith.
The dismissal of criminal charges paved the way for Ms. Shekter-Smith's case of wrongful discharge by the State. The arbitrator, Sheldon Stark, found a "plausible conclusion that political considerations were at play" in the dismissal of Ms. Shekter-Smith because others in a more direct role than her in Flint were not fired. As part of the settlement, Ms. Shekter-Smith agreed to not seek her job back and her involuntary resignation will be changed to a voluntary one.
Following the news, Mr. Morley said, "Somebody said she was doing her job. There was no smoking gun, ... Liane has always said, 'I wish this wouldn't have happened in Flint,' She's a compassionate lady."