Jury awards $110,000 to former N.M. state employee

March 6, 2014 • State News

SANTE FE, N.M. (AP) — A [auth] jury in Santa Fe has awarded a former state employee $110,000 for emotional distress resulting from a firing that jurors concluded violated a state law protecting whistleblowers.

The District Court jury ruled Wednesday in favor of Maurice Bonal Jr., a former Public Regulatory Commission information-technology manager.

Bonal’s lawsuit claimed he was fired in 2010 in retaliation for reporting that other employees improperly used state computers to visit adult porn sites and other inappropriate websites during work time.

PRC lawyers denied that employees named in the lawsuit visited porn sites during work and they said Bonal was fired for refusing to remove blocks to access to legitimate sites.

A PRC lawyer declined to comment on a possible appeal, but Bonal attorney Diego Zamora says he expects an appeal is coming.

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