Categorized | Legal News

Mount Olive Schools Offer No Branches in Whistleblower Case

When Mount Olive School District mechanic Robert Dukin was let go from his position after reporting a

number of problems with the school buses, he filed a whistleblower case against the district. The cases

was dismissed in 2010, but an appeals court reinstated it on January 27, 2014, claiming the case did

have enough evidence to proceed.


The story seems simple enough. Dukin reported a number of problems with the Mount Olive buses,

and filed two formal safety complaints with the Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health

department. The PEOSH department found 13 violations, which cost the district thousands of dollars

in fines. Shortly thereafter, Mount Olive dismissed Dukin claiming budgetary constraints and “poor

performance and insubordination.” Dukin sued, a Superior Court judge dismissed the suit, and an

appeals court reopened it.


The Mount Olive School District claims that Dukin has no real case, of course, but there are some

interesting twists in the story. For example: after Dukin was let go – budgetary restraints, remember?

– a relative of the lead mechanic for Mount Olive was hired to help in the garage. Another time, Dukin

refused to perform a task based on unsafe conditions; he was sent home for insubordination, but the

procedure for that task was changed after Dukin filed a complaint with the PEOSH.


Whether or not Dukin wins his case, it shed light on some serious safety violations on behalf of the

school district. If nothing else, Dukin’s fight may have saved the lives of countless children in Mount

Olive. Perhaps all the stress was worth it, in the end.

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