Dan Kane, News and Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina), September 19, 2007
A former examiner for the state Division of Motor Vehicles claims in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Wake Superior Court that he was fired for raising concerns about driver’s licenses being issued to people who may be in the U.S. illegally, or whose driving privileges would continue long after their visas expire.
Jeffrey M. Brown, 34, of Jones County, worked for the DMV’s New Bern office from July 2006 until early April when he said the division made up reasons to fire him.
Brown is filing suit under the state’s whistle-blower act, which prevents state employees from being fired for reporting wrongdoing on the job.
Brown said in the lawsuit that he repeatedly told supervisors he was issuing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants or suspected illegal immigrants. He also told them he was issuing standard eight-year driver’s licenses to people with visas that expired in as little as six months. State law allows neither.
Brown said DMV officials began seeking to fire him after a TV station in Greenville, WNCT, broadcast a report in March about the DMV issuing licenses to illegal immigrants. Brown said he was not a source for the story.
The following month, DMV officials fired Brown.
Brown seeks his job back, back wages and benefits, his attorney’s fees and punitive damages.