LEESBURG, GA (WALB) - Lee County paid $150,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by an employee who claimed she was wrongly fired by a judge.
Kathie Cash claimed Probate Judge John Wheaton fired her in retaliation after she complained that his granddaughter was falsifying time sheets as an assistant in his office.
Lee County's nepotism policies don't apply to constitutional officers, but County manager Ron Rabun says all government workers should avoid hiring family members.
"It creates instability in the workforce and creates bad morale. And I think that's what we see with his particular case in probate whether or not anything happened, and I'm not judging that," he said.
Judge Wheaton would not comment on the case.
In an email obtained by WALB, County attorney Jimmy Skipper said the county's insurance company will pay most of the settlement.
He also wrote that an attorney hired by that company thought a jury would have awarded Cash more money than the settlement.
Skipper also said in that email that he would not mention the settlement in a public meeting or discuss it publicly.