Shabaz Allows Trial For Whistle-blower

Kevin Murphy:

A jury will get to decide if a Madison Metropolitan School District employee speaking out about alleged bid-rigging cost her a promotion, a federal judge ruled.
Linda Martin had worked in the district’s transportation office since 1989, but was passed over in November 2002 for the newly created position of transportation coordinator. A month later, Martin was transferred to the accounting department as her transportation clerk’s job was eliminated.
Although the school district contends Martin wasn’t qualified for the coordinator’s job, that argument is contradicted by the district’s interviewing her for the position, according to U.S. District Judge John Shabaz’s decision issued Thursday. It also is under dispute whether the district’s choice, Jeff Fedler, was more qualified than Martin.
Fedler had worked for a school bus vendor, First Student, formerly Verona Bus, before being recommended in May 2002 by Martin’s supervisor, Rene Bremer, for the job Martin was seeking.