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Whistleblower suit against DHHR now reflects firing

By Staff reports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A whistleblower lawsuit filed last year against the Department of Health and Human Resources was amended Monday to reflect an attorney's termination.

Susan Perry and Jennifer Taylor filed the suits in October, contending they had been subject to illegal reprisals, public humiliation and damage to their professional reputations for attempting to perform their duties by raising concerns over the awarding of a multimillion-dollar advertising contract.

Perry and Taylor, along with DHHR communications director John Law, were placed on administrative reassignment July 16, 2012, shortly after raising issues with possible improprieties in the bidding process for the ad contract, and were initially required to work from home. Law and Taylor were subsequently fired, and Perry remains reassigned to duties reviewing Medicaid claims forms.

One of the DHHR's grounds argued for dismissing the whistleblower suit was that there was no evidence of retaliation against the employees, since at that time, all three had retained their jobs, with no reduction in job titles or salaries.

Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge James Stucky previously rejected the DHHR's motion to dismiss. On Thursday, Stucky agreed to include Taylor's firing as part of the suit.


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