WILLIAMSON – The former director of emergency services in Mingo County has filed a lawsuit against the Mingo County Commission seeking to be reinstated to the position.
Jarrod Fletcher, who was suspended in 2013 from his position as Mingo County’s 911 Director and Homeland Security Director, also named County Commissioner Diann Hannah in the complaint filed June 22.
Fletcher’s attorney, Rob Kuenzel of Chapmanville, said Fletcher deserves to have the suspension settled.
“That is all we are asking for, that this is resolved,” Kuenzel told the Williamson Daily News this week.
In his lawsuit, Fletcher said the county commission is trying to “starve [him] out” and make him to resign so the three-member panel isn't forced to fire him. He says the commission terminated his health insurance benefits on April 1.
He says the county commission is in violation of the state Whistle Blower Act, and he notes comments Hannah made to the Charleston Gazette in a June 21 story in which she "clearly demonstrates a predisposition to terminate" Fletcher.
He cites the Whistle Blower Act because he says he was cooperating with federal officials in their investigation of Thornsbury.
Fletcher also accuses the commission of constructive discharge and violating his privacy rights
According to federal prosecutors, Thornsbury put Fletcher, “his friend and business partner,” in charge of a Mingo County grand jury. Fletcher served as foreman of the jury. Federal prosecutors said Fletcher worked with Thornsbury to help put a man in jail.
Allegedly the conspiracy was to plant drugs on Robert Woodruff, the husband of Thornsbury’s former secretary. Fletcher was prohibited by state law from serving on a grand jury because he was considered an officeholder.
Thornsbury is currently serving a 50-month prison sentence in a federal prison. Fletcher and Thornsbury later were sued over the allegations contained in the indictment.
Fletcher seeks money equal to back pay and benefits from Aug. 20, 2013, to present with interest as well as compensatory damages for humiliation, emotional distress, annoyance and inconvenience. He also seeks attorney fees, court costs, expenses and other relief.
Fletcher also wants to be reinstated to his previous position and/or front pay.
Mingo Circuit Court case number: 15-C-145