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Ex-adviser to Gov. Christie claims wrongful termination

Being dismissed from a job for any reason can certainly impact your financial stability. In some cases, termination negatively impacts a person's reputation, impeding one's ability to seek future employment.

Bill Stepien's attorney claims the former adviser was wrongfully terminated from his job with the governor's office following an investigation of New Jersey's much publicized Bridgegate scandal. As you may know, Stepien, who was the campaign manager for both of Chris Christie's successful gubernatorial bids, also worked as the governor's chief of staff.

According to Stepien's attorney, the lawyers who were hired to investigate the Bridgegate scandal came to "irresponsible conclusions" about Stepien's alleged involvement in the matter. Stepien's lawyer says he wrote a letter to the attorneys responsible for the investigation on April 2. In the letter, Stepien's counsel demanded that the report be changed, alleging that it damaged Stepien's reputation. Stepien's attorney says that when the firm didn't address the concerns, the letter was sent to the media.

The attorneys in charge of the investigation continue to stand by their report. In a statement, one of the attorneys claimed the available evidence does not support any change to the report, though they are willing to review additional evidence if it's presented by Stepien.

The ongoing dispute underscores the importance of having your own legal counsel in matters of employment law. If you are involved in a dispute with your employer, then you should expect the employer's legal team to side against you, even if the legal team is said to be "independent."

You can learn more about wrongful termination, whistleblower rights and employer retaliation at our employment law website.

Source: Philly.com, "Ex-Christie adviser's lawyer says report hurt reputation," Andrew Seidman, May 16, 2014

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