Whistleblower Awarded More Than $1.25M in Lawsuit Against ISU
The money was awarded for emotional distress, loss of income and damage to reputation.
A former Iowa State employee who suffered “three years of severe emotional distress” has been awarded more than $1.25 million under Iowa’s whistleblower law.
Dennis Smith, formerly employed by the ISU College of Engineering marketing department, was terminated after he flagged misconduct perpetrated by his supervisor, Pamela Reinig, then-director of the marketing department, according to, according to the Des Moines Register.
Reinig denounced Smith and fired him. Smith was unable to find another job because his references at the university denounced him.
Reinig later pled guilty to first-degree theft, and served two years probation for the theft of $10,000.
District Court Judge Kurt Stoebe cited numerous violations to the state’s whistleblower law, according to the Register. The law is designed to protect individuals from retaliation for reporting violations of law, mismanagement and abuse of funds or authority.