Former top vaccination official sues Tennessee Dept. of Health leadership
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The state’s one-time top vaccination official has filed a federal lawsuit accusing Tennessee Department of Health leadership of making “stigmatizing and defamatory statements.”
Dr. Michelle Fiscus filed the lawsuit on Thursday naming Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey and Chief Medical Officer Tim Jones as the defendants in the case.
According to the complaint, after Fiscus was fired, stigmatizing and defamatory statements made by Jones to Piercey were published in several media sources.
Fiscus was fired on July 12 after serving as medical director of the Vaccine-Preventable Diseases and Immunization Program at the Tennessee Department of Health.
Fiscus was not available for comment on Thursday after filing the lawsuit. However, she did release a statement.
“The complaint and declaration speak for themselves. I look forward to my name being cleared despite the Tennessee Department of Health’s denial of my right to do so,” Fiscus said.
The Department of Health said it could not comment on pending litigation.
Three days after her termination, several media outlets published a letter dated July 9 that outlined the reasons for firing Fiscus. The letter was not presented to Fiscus at her termination nor was she made aware of its contents, according to the court document.
Fiscus claimed the letter was sent to the news media at the direction of Piercey as part of an intentional effort to stigmatize and defame Fiscus.
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