When they raised concerns with Warren Keefer, DHHR deputy secretary for administration, and Bryan Rosen, DHHR purchasing director, Perry and Taylor were told they could be charged with the criminal offense of interfering with the awarding of a state contract, according to the complaints.
In response, they said they were not concerned about which vendor was awarded the contract, but wanted the process to be conducted correctly so the DHHR could be defended in the event of a vendor protest or lawsuit.
According to the complaints, the issue came up in a July 13 conference call with Fucillo, who was working out of the DHHR's Fairmont office, and Fucillo advised he would discuss the matter with them on July 16.
Instead, on that date, Perry, Taylor and Law were placed on administrative leave, barred from DHHR offices, had their e-mail accounts blocked, and were prohibited from contacting DHHR staffers at the workplace, according to the suit.
Also, Perry and Taylor allege that Fucillo ordered an investigation by the DHHR Office of Inspector General, "undertaken in bad faith, with malice, and the intent to retaliate and engage in reprisal against (Perry and Taylor) for their actions as whistle-blowers."
The suit contends they were the subject of a "purported search warrant" which they argue misrepresented facts surrounding the RFP review, and which essentially accuse Perry and Taylor of criminal conduct.
In the complaints, filed by attorney Walt Auvil, Perry and Taylor seek punitive damages as well as damages for mental anguish, embarrassment, and damage to their professional reputations.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.