CHARLESTON – A Texas woman is suing the West Virginia State Police Department after she claims she was demoted after expressing opinions and participating in lawful political activies.

Soraya M. McClung was employed by the defendant as its Forensic Laboratory Director and during her employment, she consistently performed her duties in a satisfactory manner and met the reasonable expectations of the defendant, according to a complaint filed Jan. 8 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

McClung claims during her employment, she exercised her rights as a private citizen under the West Virginia Constitution by expressing opinions regarding governmental policies and engaged in lawful political activities. These activities related to the conditions and needs of the West Virginia Crime Lab.

On March 10, 2014, McClung was summoned to the office of Col. C.R. Jay Smithers, who is the superintendent of the defendant and was interrogated for nearly one hour by Smithers and two other representatives of the defendant regarding her political activities, according to the suit.

McClung claims on March 17, 2014, she was demoted to Analyst IV for expressing opinions regarding governmental policies and engaging in lawful political activities.

The defendant retaliated against McClung for her lawful political activities and she suffered a loss of compensation and benefits, according to the suit.

McClung claims she felt compelled to resign from her position because the defendant created working conditions that were intolerable.

McClung is seeking compensatory damages. She is being represented by Mark A. Atkinson and Paul L. Frampton Jr. of Atkinson & Polak PLLC.

The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Carrie Webster.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 15-C-22

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