SCOTUS to hear appeal in Factoid case - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

SCOTUS to hear appeal in Factoid case

By Cade Fowler - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – A civil lawsuit from Albany could result in a landmark ruling by the U-S Supreme Court. The high court agreed Monday to hear an appeal in the Phoebe Factoid case.

Accountant Charles Rehberg was one of the authors of those whistleblowing faxes that criticized Phoebe Putney hospital administrators.

He was indicted six years ago for assault and harassing phone calls... Based largely on false testimony from District Attorney's investigator Jim Paulk.

All charges were later dropped.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Paulk had absolute immunity doing his job and could not be sued.

The co-author of the factoids told us it's clear the DA's office acted improperly.

"This investigation was done as a favor to Phoebe Putney. So that, in and of itself, makes it unusual because you have the investigator saying, Yeah we did at as favor. And that's wrong. He's acting inappropriately and yet, he claims immunity," said Dr. John Bagnato.

Former Dougherty County District Attorney Ken Hodges says that's not true.

"I don't have any concerns or worries about the ultimate outcome of this case, especially if it goes to trial. Right now the only thing the appellate courts are worried about are the allegations of the plaintiff. I believe, ultimately, if those are aired out with both sides presenting all the evidence to a jury that right now the only defendant left is Jim Paulk and I think he'll prevail," Hodges said.

The Supreme Court will likely hear the case in the fall.

Rehberg settled a defamation lawsuit against Phoebe for an undisclosed amount.

 

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