Office manager asks to join lawsuit against CDC alleging document shredding

Posted Feb. 21, 2014, at 6:55 p.m.

A CDC office manager wants to join the whistle-blower lawsuit filed by a former Maine CDC division director.

And the suit plans to accuse additional CDC officials — deputy director Christine Zukas and Office of Minority Health and Health Equity director Lisa Sockabasin — of rights violations.

In a motion to amend filed late Friday afternoon, lawyer Cynthia Dill asked the federal court to add Katie Woodbury as a plaintiff to the suit originally filed by Sharon Leahy-Lind. The former director of the Division of Public Health, Leahy-Lind claimed her bosses at the CDC ordered her to shred public documents and then harassed and retaliated against her when she refused.

However, Leahy-Lind’s suit currently names only the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the CDC, and CDC director Sheila Pinette. She would like to add Zukas and Sockabasin.

Woodbury has come forward with claims similar to those alleged by Leahy-Lind, including harassment and retaliation for speaking publicly about problems at the CDC.

“There are common issues of fact, there are common witnesses and certainly common questions of law that will be answered for both of these individuals, and that’s why I’m choosing to join them,” Dill said.

Last April, Woodbury spoke to the Sun Journal about what she had seen at the CDC. She echoed many of Leahy-Lind’s claims.

“If you do not agree with Chris Zukas, she’s got a hair trigger, and she’ll rip you up,” Woodbury said at the time. “I’m a person that can take that, but I won’t. Some of the stuff that’s going on in that workplace is abuse. Blatant abuse.”

 

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