§6C-1-6. Civil penalty; termination from public service.
(a) A person who, as an employer or under color of an employer’s authority, violates this article is personally liable for a civil fine of not more than $5,000. A civil fine which is collected under this section shall be paid to the State Treasurer for deposit into the General Fund.
(b) In addition to subsection (a) of this section, and notwithstanding any provision in this code to the contrary, if the court specifically finds that the person, while in the employment of a public body, committed a violation of section three of this article with the intent to discourage the disclosure of information, such finding: (1) shall be deemed a finding of official misconduct and malfeasance in office, and may be relied upon as admissible evidence in any subsequent proceeding or petition to remove the person from public office; and (2) may be relied upon by the public body as a basis to discipline the person, including, but not limited to, termination from employment: Provided, That nothing shall be construed as requiring a civil action, civil penalty or a court finding under this section as a condition or prerequisite for a public body to take disciplinary action against the person.