State settles final 2 wrongful termination lawsuits

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The state of West Virginia has settled the final two of 12 wrongful-termination lawsuits filed against the Secretary of State’s office.

Charleston attorney Mark Atkinson told the Charleston Gazette-Mail on Thursday that fired investigators Thomas Ranson and Jeff Shriner settled their lawsuits for $50,000 each.

The lawsuits were filed against Republican Secretary of State Mac Warner, who took office in January 2017 and fired 16 employees, 15 of whom were registered Democrats. He then hired 22 new employees, 19 of whom were registered Republicans.

Ranson and Shriner were fired several months later, but contended it was due to their political affiliation and age.

Warner said it was due to “a lack of initiative, enthusiasm, diligence, that sort of thing.”

The newspaper reports the state has spent $3.2 million, not including legal fees, to settle all of the lawsuits.

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