Ex-nursing home ombudsman’s lawsuit reaches court

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s ousted nursing home ombudsman will be in court arguing that Gov. Rick Scott forced his resignation in retaliation in violation of laws protecting whistleblowers.

Former ombudsman Brian Lee will argue Monday that Scott forced his resignation because he advocated on behalf of nursing home residents and used a new federal health care law to seek homes’ ownership and management information. Lee served under Republican Govs. Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist before he resigned in February, a month after Scott took office.

Lee contends his resignation was demanded after the Florida Health Care Association and Florida Assisted Living Association complained to the Scott administration.

The administration has not commented on the lawsuit but has said Lee served at the pleasure of the governor and could be fired at any time.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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