BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos County settled a lawsuit filed by former County Community Services Division director Brian Brogan in First Judicial District Court with a payment to Brogan of $212,500.
Brogan was hired by the County in January 2017 and was dismissed by the County Council in November 2019. He claimed in the lawsuit, which was filed under the state Whistleblower Protection Act, that he was terminated because he reported improper or unlawful behavior at the County. The County claimed that each of the “reports” were made as part of Brogan’s duties as CSD manager and that he did not make the reports to anyone outside the County until after his termination, meaning that he couldn’t show that he engaged in whistleblower activities for the purpose of the Whistleblower Protection Act.
In the lawsuit, Brogan listed issues he had reported to the County as:
- Sexual harassment at the Aquatic Center.
- Failure of the County to take action against a seasonal employee who allegedly had sex on the golf course
- Attempted self-dealing by a County employee who allegedly contracted with an engineering firm in which the County employee was a stakeholder.
- A County employee allegedly permitted unauthorized work on the County’s BMX track.
- Alleged mishandling of public funds by the County Health Council.
Brogan sought actual damages, reinstatement, two times the amount of back pay since he was dismissed in 2019, and compensation for special damages.
Depositions of several County officials had been conducted when in late October Brogan’s attorney notified the Court that all claims in the matter had been amicably resolved in principle. In December a stipulated dismissal with prejudice was filed with the Court.