Court dismisses 2nd appeal of lawsuit against Alpena Co & probate court
Jane Mortimer, a probate register for the county for over 30 years was fired in June, 2008 by Judge Tom LaCross.
Mortimer filed the lawsuit after she was let go, claiming breach of contract and that she was protected under the Whistleblowers Protection Act. The local trial court dismissed the case and this week the Court of Appeals did the same.
Mortimer and LaCross disagreed about the judge’s practice of appointing “standby guardians.” Mortimer said the practice was simply a way for LaCross to clear or reduce his docket and workload. She believes she was fired for repeatedly bringing the matter to his attention.
There were other problems between the two. LaCross said Motimer did not properly train the deputy probate register and in a formal complaint accused her of funneling probate court business to her husband, a local attorney. LaCross also placed an ad in the newspaper soliciting comments about the probate court. Several of the responses he received were highly critical of Mortimer.