WHEELING - A former employee is suing the Wetzel County Commission in federal court for allegedly wrongfully terminating her employment.

Scott Lemley was also named as a defendant in the suit.

Nita Jean King began employment with the commission as a secretary on July 8, 1991, and was appointed Chief Deputy/Reappraisal Coordinator with the Wetzel County Assessor's office on Oct. 20, 1998, according to a complaint filed Aug. 7 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia at Wheeling.

King claims in 2012 she filed to run for office for the position of Wetzel County Assessor and one of her opponents in the primary election was Lemley.

Shortly after filing for office, King was constantly questioned by Lemley regarding transactions she handled in her position as Chief Deputy/Reappraisal Coordinator, according to the suit.

King claims on Dec. 4, she received a letter from the Wetzel County Assessor's Office advising her that she would no longer be employed at the Assessor's Office.

The motivation underlying the termination of King is retaliation for her candidacy for the office of Wetzel County Assessor, according to the suit.

King claims the defendants retaliated against her for announcing her pre-candidacy, by filing to run for the office of Wetzel County Assessor and for campaigning for the office.

King is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. She is being represented by Erika Klie Kolenich and D. Geoff Varney of Klie Law Offices PLLC.

The case has been assigned to District Judge Frederick P. Stamp Jr.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia at Wheeling case number: 5:13-cv-00102

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