SANTA FE – A Santa Fe jury of 10 women and two men recently awarded more than $134,000 to a state Department of Health employee who they determined was wrongly fired after she reported problems with federal funding and accounting in the department’s HIV Services Program.
Jennifer Smith, who was fired in July 2012, was seeking compensation under the state’s whistle-blower protection act.
The jury’s verdict was unanimous. The judgment included $52,000 in lost wages, which is doubled under the statute, and $30,642 in lost benefits.
Smith, who had been with DOH for six years, was earning $48,000 at the time she was let go.