CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Longtime Department of Health and Human Resources communications director and assistant secretary John Law said Tuesday he has been fired, effective Jan. 23.
Law and DHHR attorneys Susan Perry and Jennifer Taylor were placed on administrative leave in July after raising concerns over the bid process to award a multimillion-dollar advertising and marketing contract.
All three have remained on the DHHR payroll, and Law has worked from his home, emailing DHHR news summaries and updates to the media.
Law said he received his termination letter Tuesday afternoon, after being verbally notified Monday evening that he was being fired.
The letter does not give grounds for dismissal, but states, "As you are aware, you serve at the will and pleasure of the secretary [of DHHR] and may be removed with or without cause."
It indicates that, in addition to receiving his salary through Jan. 23, Law will receive 15 days' severance pay.
Law, Perry and Taylor were placed on paid administrative leave in July by acting Secretary Rocco Fucillo, while the DHHR inspector general's office launched an investigation to determine if the three improperly interfered in the awarding of the advertising contract, ultimately awarded to the highest of four bidders, Ohio-based Fahlgren Mortine.
In September, Perry and Taylor filed suit in Kanawha Circuit Court against Fucillo, contending the disciplinary actions against them violated the state whistleblower law, which prohibits retaliation against public employees for reporting incidents of wrongdoing or government waste.
Perry and Taylor indicated they asked that DHHR review the evaluation and scoring of the four bid packages, over concerns that the department had botched previous bid processes.