Former health dept. employee says he was fired for being whistleblower

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A former Mecklenburg County Health Department employee and 20-year medical professional claims he was fired for being a whistleblower.

The claims have garnered the attention of Charlotte's NAACP chapter, which is planning a news conference Friday morning.

"This man is a warrior. I thank God for him," NAACP head Corine Mack said.

Mack is standing up for former health department employee Dellvachio Adams.

"If he comes to you with complaints for an entire year and you do nothing, you have no plans to do anything," Mack said.

Channel 9 obtained an email showing complaints raised by Adams as early as January 2017.

Adams sounded the alarm about his employer when he witnessed misbehavior, misreported issues, inaccurate test results, false reporting and patients waiting long hours for treatment.

“I can't let the people of Mecklenburg suffer,” Adams said.

He declined to go into specifics because of federal privacy laws, but said he reported the issues to his superiors.

"The serious concerns at the Mecklenburg County Health Department may now be worse," Mack said.

He told County Manager Dena Diorio and Commissioner Vilma Leake in an email that he reported "deficiencies, blatant negligence and poor management for at least two years."

He also wrote in his email, "I feel I have an obligation to the people we serve in this community to speak up about these issues."

"He knew there was a probability he would be fired," Mack said.

County officials confirmed to Channel 9 that Adams was terminated and he sent a memo to the TV station saying he was fired for not showing respect and insubordination.

Adams said his claims were never addressed.

“Over the years, seeing this behavior takes a toll on you,” Adams said.

Health director Gibbie Harris said in a statement that she is trying to change the culture of public health but said it is not an easy task.

Commissioner Pat Cotham said that Adam's claims deserve to be investigated.

“Anytime an 18-year employee is willing to give up his job and pension, to me, that demands attention,” Cotham said.

Gibbs said that the department is putting more supervision in the lab and potentially outsourcing the service in the future.

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