CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Ten former employees of the West Virginia secretary of state’s office have filed wrongful termination lawsuits stemming from their dismissals by new Secretary of State Mac Warner.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the suits claim the employees were part of a mass firing orchestrated by Warner so he could replace longtime office staffers with handpicked new hires. T
he workers were part of a 16-employee purge when Warner took office in January. Warner initially contended the firings were part of a downsizing of the office staff to reduce costs, but he ultimately hired 22 new employees.
Warner spokesman Steven Adams says the office doesn’t comment on pending litigation. The suits were filed recently in Kanawha Circuit Court. The suits name the West Virginia Secretary of State as the only defendant.