Fired Health Care Finance COO Sues City for $5 million
The former chief operating officer of the city's Department of Health Care Finance is suing the city for wrongful termination, saying she was fired, defamed, and humiliated for pointing out problems with a potential contractor with the city's forthcoming $70 million health insurance exchange.
Jennifer Campbell was fired in June over allegations that she tried to steer business towards some minority-owned firms and away from others. In court records filed yesterday, Campbell says those allegations are false. Further, she says she's entitled to whistleblower protection because she raised issues about abnormalities with a bid from CGI, a large I.T. firm that was interested in bidding on the health exchange contract, for another city contract. Allegations made by a vice president at CGI that Campbell was telling the company whom to partner with contributed to her dismissal.
Exchanges like the ones the District is setting up are the key parts of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
One of the minority-owned firms that Campbell was allegedly trying to help was a company owned by Darryl Wiggins, who has ties to Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser and former Mayor Adrian Fenty. Wiggins strongly denies doing anything improper or knowing about any improper behavior.
Campbell says the District also treated her poorly when it fired her, starting with the fact that she learned of her dismissal from LL's blog. She's suing for $5 million, lost wages, and attorney's fees. Her attorney has not returned calls seeking comment. Turnage declined to comment.
Here's Campbell's complaint: