Ex-secretary of state employees settle lawsuits over firings

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Four people who sued West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner last year accusing him of wrongful termination have settled outside of court for nearly $1 million total.

Mark Atkinson is one of four attorneys representing the fired employees. He tells The Charleston Gazette-Mail the four are the first of 12 wrongful termination cases against Warner to be resolved.

Warner and press secretary Mike Queen couldn’t be reached for comment Monday morning.

The four people are among 16 employees fired shortly after Warner took office in 2017. They sued alleging he terminated them over their political affiliations.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Ben Salango has said the odds are astronomical that 15 of the employees Warner fired just happened to be Democrats, and 19 of the 22 new hires just happened to be Republicans.

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