A former state worker who claimed she was harassed and assaulted after refusing to shred sensitive documents was named the 2014 recipient of the Sunshine Award.

Sharon Leahy-Lind is expected to be recognized at an awards ceremony by the Maine Freedom of Information Coalition at the visitor center at the State House on Wednesday at 10 a.m.

She is the former director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Local Public Health. She filed a complaint with the Maine Human Rights Commission last year claiming, among other things, that her bosses at the Maine CDC ordered her to destroy documents that showed the scoring results for the 27 Healthy Maine Partnerships at the center of controversy over hundreds of thousands of dollars in state funding. She said the scoring was manipulated to favor certain organizations over others.

She filed a lawsuit last fall in U.S. District Court, alleging the director of Maine’s CDC and others within the Maine Department of Health and Human Services violated the Whistleblower Protection Act by retaliating against her when she refused to destroy documents connected to the funding of the Healthy Maine Partnerships program.

The suit also alleges defamation and violations of state and federal medical leave acts, the Maine Human Rights Acts, the Federal Civil Rights Act, the Freedom of Access Act and the First Amendment.

She testified last week before the Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee along with subpoenaed CDC workers, including those named in her lawsuit.

She now works as a real estate agent and co-owner of Ridgemont Properties Maine, LLC.

This week is National Sunshine Week. The national observance of Freedom of Information Day on Wednesday commemorates the birthday of President James Madison, a strong advocate of the public’s right and duty to know what its government is doing.


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