MARIETTA — A high-ranking ex-officer with the Georgia National Guard is suing his former employer, accusing the military unit of unfairly firing him after he issued a whistleblower report raising issues of ethical misconduct among his superiors.
The lawsuit, filed Dec. 2 in Cobb County Superior Court, also names as defendants the state Department of Defense and the current and former head of the state National Guard. According to the lawsuit, Larry Dudney attempted to raise concerns about the senior leadership of the National Guard, including to ex-Adjutant General William Nesbitt.
The issues included “inappropriate and unethical conduct by senior officials, abuse of authority and discretion, undue command influence, improper endorsement of a product and services, misuse of government property, preferential treatment, suppressed investigation of a criminal matter and improper hiring practices.”
Georgia National Guard spokesman Maj. John Alderman said the unit is “completely aware of the complaint in question,” but could not comment on the specifics of the case.
According to the complaint, Dudney said his superiors dismissed his claims. Dudney then submitted a report detailing his concerns to the Department of Army Inspector General on Aug. 15. Less than a month later, he was terminated as brigadier general and director of the Joint Staff. The complaint cites the cause for Dudney’s firing as “retaliation and revenge for his disclosure of violations and non-compliance with laws, rules and regulations to a government agency.”
The lawsuit also says Nesbitt announced his retirement shortly after the report was issued. Gov. Nathan Deal appointed ex-state Sen. Jim Butterworth to succeed him soon afterwards. Both are named in the lawsuit.
Butterworth did not immediately return a call for comment.