Former Rep. J.C. Watts is suing Feed the Children, claiming he was fired as the nonprofit’s CEO in retaliation for reporting irregularities with Oklahoma’s attorney general.
Watts, who served in the House from 1995 to 2003, claimed he was fired by the board of directors on Nov. 4, a day after he told a member of the board that he had reported to the attorney general’s office, the The Oklahoman reported.
Watts served in the position for 10 months and his contract was for three years. He is suing for punitive and financial damages as well as emotional distress.
Feed the Children declined to comment.
Watts also claimed he was recruited to be CEO of the organization under false pretenses. His lawsuit said he was organization falsely told him it “was on a solid financial and organizational foundation and had resolved the well-publicized past problems.”
He claimed the board was interested only in his ability to raise money, “and did not want any interference with the long-running practices of the organization.”
Before Congress, Watts played quarterback at the University of Oklahoma and in the Canadian Football League. Since leaving the House, he has worked in consulting and lobbying and has been a commentator on cable news.