LEWISTON, Maine — The former division director who said her bosses at the Maine Center for Disease Control ordered her to shred public documents, and then harassed and retaliated against her when she refused, has settled her lawsuit.
Lawyer Cynthia Dill said Tuesday that her clients — former director of Division of Local Public Health Sharon Leahy-Lind and office manager Katie Woodbury — settled their suit against the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, CDC Director Sheila Pinette, Deputy Director Christine Zukas and Office of Minority Health and Health Equity Director Lisa Sockabasin.
Dill declined to talk about the settlement Tuesday because the two sides agreed to keep it confidential.
However, last week Dill said she would seek at least $500,000 each for her two clients, plus attorney’s fees and lost benefits.
Leahy-Lind resigned as director of the Division of Local Public Health in July 2013, saying her bosses made it impossible for her to do her job. She filed a federal whistle-blower lawsuit against the department and Pinette in October 2013, alleging that Pinette and others within the department retaliated against her when she refused to destroy documents related to the funding of the Healthy Maine Partnerships program. She also alleged defamation and rights violations.
Last September, a judge allowed Woodbury to join the suit as a plaintiff and added Zukas and Sockabasin as defendants. Woodbury’s claims are similar to Leahy-Lind’s, including harassment and retaliation for speaking publicly about problems at the CDC.
The trial had been slated for September.