Former Tennessee Vaccine Official Sues State Over Termination

by Jon Styf


Michelle Fiscus, Tennessee’s former top vaccine officer, has sued the Tennessee Department of Health and its top two officers over her firing in July.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Nashville, says Fiscus is suing for injunctive relief and damages caused by the firing and “defamatory statements” she claims were made by Department of Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey and Chief Medical Officer Tim Jones.

The lawsuit says Fiscus asked for a name-clearing hearing but was denied.

Fiscus was fired by the state in early July, and, after her firing, the Department of Health released a memo from Jones outlining the reasons for her termination.

“[Communicable and Environmental Diseases and Emergency Preparedness Division] leadership and TDH Human Resources received multiple complaints from program staff regarding [Fiscus’] management style, treatment of employees, and poor program morale,” the memo said.

Fiscus said she did not see the letter until after it was sent to the media. She claimed her firing was related to a memo she sent to vaccine providers about the Mature Minor Doctrine, showing case law from 1987, and interpreted it to mean minors could choose to get health care, including a vaccine, without parental consent.

“The letter should have been reviewed by both leadership and departmental legal counsel,” Jones wrote in his July 9 memo to Piercey about Fiscus’ termination. “However, Dr. Fiscus did not share the letter nor otherwise include any of these parties in the drafting process prior to sending it out. This action resulted in confusion of both law and policy for private providers, parents, and legislators.”

Fiscus’ lawsuit, which was filed Thursday, shows an email in which she received the interpretation of the Mature Minor Doctrine on May 6 from Grant Mullins, a Department of Health attorney. Fiscus’ lawsuit says her memo is verbatim what she was sent by Mullins.

Fiscus’ lawsuit claims Jones’ memo includes “false and stigmatizing allegations,”  including “accusations of financial impropriety and self-dealing regarding Dr. Fiscus’s role with ImmunizeTN.”

The lawsuit says Fiscus was accused of providing funds to ImmunizeTN but that she actually has no financial interest in the nonprofit and only serves in an advisory role.

Fiscus cited a 2019 review of her work from Jones that commended her involvement in the nonprofit, stating “[Dr. Fiscus] has taken the initiative to start a statewide coalition [ImmunizeTN] which has been very successful.”

Fiscus said she sent a formal letter to Mullins and the Department of Health regarding a name-clearing hearing but was denied. Her lawsuit says she will be selling her home and moving to Virginia.

“This relocation is necessary because of the damage to her reputation in Tennessee, which has effectively foreclosed further opportunities to work in public health in this State,” the lawsuit reads.

Fiscus’ lawsuit says she was officially fired July 12 but the decision was made July 8 during a meeting between Piercey, Gov. Bill Lee and leaders from the Tennessee Legislature’s Government Operations Committee; one day before Jones’ termination letter.

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Jon Styf is a reporter at The Center Square.
Photo “Dr. Michelle Fiscus” by Tennessee Department of Health.

Reprinted with permission from The Center Square

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7 Thoughts to “Former Tennessee Vaccine Official Sues State Over Termination”

  1. Tim Price

    She has proven herself to be a big ole nobody!

    So typical of a liberal!

  2. lb

    Isnt her 15 minutes up yet?

  3. 83ragtop50

    What a cry baby. Go away little girl.

  4. Kevin

    She’s just looking for a “pay off”, and to continue to fleece the citizens of Tennessee. DON”T cave in to her! Every day, Tennessee pays hundreds of lawyers filling all sorts of positions. Certainly you can free up a couple to defend against this litigation. And maybe prevent future copy cats!

  5. Mark Knofler

    Bwaaaahahahaha, this mentally unhinged person is doing what? Good luck with that.

  6. gordon

    Michelle Fakeus, the one that was busted sending a dog muzzle to herself.

    just go move on to whatever liberal state you and your whiny husband were going to move to and leave us alone.

  7. Horatio Bunce

    “This relocation is necessary because of the damage to her reputation in Tennessee, which has effectively foreclosed further opportunities to work in public health in this State,” the lawsuit reads.

    Of course, making an appearance on sodomite CIA operative Anderson Cooper to lie about shipping herself a dog muzzle did wonders for her reputation. She defamed the people of Tennessee and continues to do so with this claim.