For Justin Schwartz, the Cal State East Bay lecturer who was fired after reporting that a colleague spent thousands of dollars of university money to buy himself high-end sports equipment and climbing lessons, a $100,000 settlement with CSU officially ends the legal dispute with his former employer.
But Schwartz says it will take longer to reconcile other questions of justice and fairness that have baffled him during the three years since he was fired: Why CSU blamed Schwartz instead of thanking him. Why his colleague, Michael Shumate, kept his job after an investigation found he had billed CSU for what appeared to be personal expenses. And why, in the end, Schwartz was banished from the job he loved.
"I paid a pretty steep price," said the whistle-blower, 48. "It's a perverse world where if you're honest and ethical, you're persecuted. The whole university ganged up on me."
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