BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A former Idaho Department of Labor employee says the agency used subpoena powers to obtain his personal cellphone records and then fired him over the results of the search.

The Spokesman-Review reports that according to a whistleblower lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court, James Cryer was fired for sending anonymous emails to state officials complaining about violations in one of the labor department divisions. According to the lawsuit, the department used its subpoena powers to identify Cryer as the author of the anonymous emails.

Idaho's state Employment Security Law grants subpoena powers to the labor department's director, a member of the state Industrial Commission, to gain evidence deemed necessary in investigating unemployment and wage-dispute cases. Department of Labor Director Ken Edmonds had no comment on the lawsuit Wednesday.