Gary Lafayette and Africa Davidson of Lafayette & Kumagai LLP successfully represented the high profile former City Manager of a major Bay Area City in a two-and-a-half week whistleblower trial. Plaintiff, formerly the City’s Controller, claimed she was fired in retaliation for complaining about alleged illegal financial activities involving high government officials. Plaintiff, represented by John Burris, filed suit in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, for Deprivation of Civil Rights Under Color of Law pursuant to the First Amendment pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The jury deliberated for about six hours before returning a defense verdict, concluding: 1) Plaintiff was not acting as a private citizen when she complained; and 2) Plaintiff was not the victim of retaliation. At trial, defense counsel argued she was instead terminated because of her abusive behavior with subordinates and coworkers. In filing the lawsuit, Plaintiff demanded punitive damages, attorney’s fees and $1.5 million in general damages. The jury returned a defense verdict on all claims on May 24, 2012.