State settles lawsuits alleging illegal firing over politics

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The state of West Virginia has settled wrongful-termination lawsuits with six more former employees of the Secretary of State’s office who say they were fired for their political beliefs.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the state Board of Risk and Insurance Management settled the lawsuits for a total of about $2.1 million.

Republican Secretary of State Mac Warner 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. He says the fired workers were incompetent or “didn’t fit the mold” of the office.

Four other former workers who sued over their firing by Warner settled in September for about $1 million altogether. Two cases are still pending.

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