Investigator Lara Ward for the Nevada Board of Medical examiners filed a lawsuit claiming the Las Vegas Office has not been doing it's job and has been actively sabotaging cases. The job of the BME is to look into complaints against doctors and the lawsuit alleged the board would partake in bribery depending on the doctor.
"That is the allegation made in the complaint," Jenny Foley, who is representing Ward said.
Foley said her client, Ward began working with the BME in 2015. Shortly after she started working there, Ward was working on an investigation. When she was able to get crucial information, the lawsuit said her boss said "Who did you blow to get that?"
"Yes, Ms. Ward got information and he insinuated she had performed oral sex to get that information," Foley said.
The man who allegedly sexually harassed Ward is Don Andreas, but the lawsuit also names of other people involved in the harassment, or the retaliation for Ward reporting it.
After Ward reported the harassment, she claimed her time at work became unbearable. One coworker allegedly told Ward, "Your life will be a living hell." Other coworkers tried to find out who Ward was dating, and even looked into her medical history. The suit also alleged those same people began to tamper with her food at work as retaliation for coming forward.
Beyond the harassment, Ward claimed the BME was engaging in concerning conduct including using racial slurs to describe people, and closing high profile cases where doctors were over-prescribing opioids, which lead to patient's deaths. When Ward brought the complaint to the executive director of the BME, Edward O. Cousineau, Ward said Cousineau threatened her job.
"My client feels that illegal activity needs to be investigated and dealt with properly," Foley said of Ward.
Eventually Ward said she was placed on administrative leave and had no choice but to file a lawsuit. Ward filed a lawsuit for damages, including backpay and emotional trauma.
"The retaliation has been relentless, to this day."
The Nevada Board of Medical Examiners' lawyer issued this statement:The workplace complaints made by Ms. Ward have been taken very seriously, then appropriately investigated and handled, including an investigation by a third-party outside investigator. This includes Ms. Ward’s complaint about not being promoted to a senior position she desired despite being employed just over one year, shortly after which promotion denial she first made an allegation of two past inappropriate comments by another employee. The many assorted and varied allegations set forth in Ms. Ward’s lawsuit will be dealt with through the normal litigation process and as that process develops, we are confident the NSBME will prevail. Ms. Ward has been, and will continue to be, dealt with fairly in her work with the NSBME, as is the policy of the NSBME with all its employees. Copyright 2017 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.