WVSC Uphold Parole Officer Firing

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The West Virginia Supreme Court has upheld the firing of a parole officer who dated a man who ran a drug distribution operation out of their home.

The justices ruled 4-1 Friday to keep Simona Southall out of the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation. They upheld a ruling that reversed the state Public Employees Grievance Board’s restoration of Southall’s employment, which ended in 2017 after the FBI raided the couple’s Kimberly home.

Court records say FBI agents seized a “bale” of marijuana, along with $182,000 and other items indicative of a drug operation. The grievance board argued that Parole Services failed to show Southall knew about, should’ve known about or participated in illegal activities with Jonathan Brockman, who’s serving nine years in prison on drug charges.

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.