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Former 13WMAZ anchor files whistleblower lawsuit against Ga. National Guard | News

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Former 13WMAZ anchor files whistleblower lawsuit against Ga. National Guard
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Former 13WMAZ anchor Mary Therese Grabowski has filed lawsuit claiming that she was fired by the Georgia National Guard after raising concerns about ethical issues.

This comes on the heels of a whistleblower case that cost taxpayers $3 million.

Grabowski worked for Adjutant General Jim Butterworth as the Georgia National Guard's former director of public affair,

Appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal, Butterworth took the job as adjutant general of the Georgia National Guard in October of 2011. The job oversees more than 14,000 members.

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The lawsuit, which was filed Thursday, says just a few months into his job, Butterworth was facing an internal military investigation for the improper use of Black Hawk helicopters.

Related: Read the full lawsuit.

Grabowski claims she was fired for raising similar questions about what she calls illegal and unethical decision -- questions like why Butterworth used Guard resources to organize a fundraiser for a private medical center.

Grabowski also claims she also questioned why Butterworth was attending an air show in Paris at a time when military furloughs and cuts were expected. She says she was told Butterworth would be a guest of the governor's office, but later discovered he had stayed days after the governor left Paris.

Additionally, Grabowski claims she was asked by Butterworth's wife to promote an event for country music singer Kaley Caperton, a personal friend of the Butterworths.

Finally, Grabowski says questioned an event at Turner Field when Butterworth accepted free use of a suite at the Braves game and took family and friends with him. Later she says Butterworth entered into a promotion contract between the team and the Guard.

Grabowski claims that after raising red flags several times about Butterworth, she was told she would be replaced by someone in the military, but that she could remain working in the department.

In the end, her suit says she was terminated for repeatedly blowing the whistle.

Grabowski was a 13WMAZ anchor from 1998 to 2006.

She is also former executive director of the 21st Century Partnership in Warner Robins for six years, 2006-2012. She left that job to work for the Guard.


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