Case

THE WHISTLEBLOWER

In 1 on January 26, 2009 at 7:25 pm

It was a simple act, copying documents and mailing them to local newspapers.
 
But it was a bold one. And one that publicly embarrassed Florida’s largest
law firm, Holland & Knight, and led it to rescind its brazen promotion of
Douglas A. Wright, a partner who had been reprimanded for sexual harassment.
 
The anonymous whistleblower accomplished what nine female employees who had
complained about Wright’s behavior could not.
 
The women had bravely stepped forward to describe how Wright had repeatedly
questioned them about their sex lives, commented inappropriately about their
clothing and urged them to “feel his pipes.” An internal investigation
concluded that Wright had violated company policy by his actions. Howell W.
Melton, the firm’s managing partner, agreed Wright’s actions were
“inappropriate and unacceptable.”
 
Six months later, Melton promoted Wright to chief operating partner, the No.
3 position in the firm.
 
The promotion undoubtedly upset many at Holland & Knight. It moved one
person to blow the whistle, inciting a firestorm of negative publicity about
the firm and pressure on Wright. Wright stepped down from his position as
chief operating partner, but he remains with the firm.
 
But there may be a heavy price to pay. In its initial response, the law firm
raged against the breach of confidentiality. And though it later toned down
its rhetoric against the whistleblower, Holland & Knight continues to
aggressively search for the source of the leak to this day.
– KRIS HUNDLEY, Times staff writer
Source

Posted via email from HKLaw Investigation

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