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Beth Janicek
Beth Janicek
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Texas Nurse NOT GUILTY!

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Yesterday I blogged: Texas Whistleblower Nurse Stands Trial

Today, on the fourth day of trial in Andrew, Texas, the jury found veteran nurse Anne Mitchell not guilty of harassment after she wrote a confidential letter to the Texas Medical Board complaining about a doctor’s unsafe medical practices.

After police in Kermit, TX found the letter, Mitchell was charged with “misuse of official information,” a third-degree felony in Texas under an abuse-of-power statute.

Mitchell and Galle, (prosecutors dropped the charges against Vicki Galle), have responded with a civil lawsuit against the county, hospital, sheriff, doctor and prosecutor, accusing them of vindictive prosecution and denial of the nurses’ First Amendment rights.

According to the Texas Occupations Code,

"a nurse may report a licensed health care practitioner, agency , or facility that the nurse has reasonable cause to believe has exposed a patient to substantial risk of harm as a result of failing to provide patient care."

Texas Nurses Association’s twitter feed read:

NOT GUILTY says the jury. #WinklerRNs

Thankfully, the jury found Mitchell not guilty, because this verdict would have had a profound effect on whistle-blowers nationwide.