Orange County property appraiser settles whistleblower lawsuit with former employee

Singh agrees to pay $84,420 in back pay, compensation

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh has settled a federal whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former employee who alleged he was harassed by a former co-worker and forced to work in a hostile environment.

The lawsuit filed earlier this year claims that Singh ordered his former employee, Willis Perry III, to remove, create or alter documents for an audit. It also claims Singh fabricated explanations to justify travel expenses. Perry, the former human resources manager, alleges he was fired after Singh asked him to complete the fraudulent tasks.

U.S. District Court Judge Gregory A. Presnell dismissed four of six counts related to Singh personally, clearing him of charges related to the lawsuit filed by Perry.

The remaining two counts, related to Perry's alleged harassment by a former coworker, were amicably settled on Dec. 18.

As part of the settlement, Singh's office will pay Perry $42,210 in back wages and an additional $42,210 in compensation for allegations that he was harassed by the former communications director while working at the property appraiser's office.

[READ - Terms of settlement in Orange County property appraiser lawsuit]

"We concluded that it was in the best interests of the office and the taxpayers to avoid protracted and costly litigation and to amicably settle those claims," a statement from the office of the Orange County property appraiser said.

The property appraiser's office has 13 days to write a check for compensation and back pay to Perry.

About the Author: