Woman awarded nearly $750K for retaliatory firing

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KEOKUK, Iowa (AP) -- A judge has awarded nearly $750,000 in damages to a woman who reported what she thought was abuse of a student at a Keokuk boarding school for troubled youths.

The Hawk Eye reports that the award was announced Monday for 22-year-old Cheyenne Jerred. She filed her whistleblower lawsuit against Midwest Academy in December 2015, saying she'd been fired because she'd reported the incident to the Iowa Human Resources Department.

Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies subsequently executed search warrants at two Midwest Academy locations in Lee County. The academy closed shortly afterward.

Associated Press attempts to reach academy owner and director Ben Trane to comment Tuesday were unsuccessful. An attorney listed for him in online court records didn't immediately return a message.

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