Woman accuses West Virginia Conservation Agency of discrimination

CHARLESTON -- A woman is suing the West Virginia Conservation Agency after she claims it discriminated against her because of her sex.

The West Virginia State Conservation Committee was also named as a defendant in the suit.

Carolyn Hefner was employed by the defendants as its Operations Division Director at its Gus R. Douglass Agricultural Center, according to a complaint filed Nov. 21 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Hefner claims the defendants failed to promote or hire her to its executive director position because of her sex, which violates the West Virginia Human Rights Act.

The defendants failure to hire or promote Hefner, who was properly qualified to be promoted or hired to the position of executive director, because of her sex is contrary to the principles of freedom and equality of opportunity and is destructive to a free and democratic society, according to the suit.

Hefner claims she has been employed by the defendants since Sept. 16, 1996, and in 2008, she advised the West Virginia Conservation Agency that she was going to bring a civil action as a result of its improper conduct.

The failure to promote or hire Hefner into the position of executive director was also in retaliation by the defendants for her filing her West Virginia Human Rights claim in 2008, according to the suit.

Hefner is seeking compensatory damages. She is being represented by J. Michael Ranson, Cynthia M. Ranson, George B. Morrone III and Charles R. Webb.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge James C. Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-2329

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