This Just In: Monongalia County

By Donna Kisner | Jan 11, 2008

Dec. 28
Linda S. Chico v. The Monongalia County Board of Health, Robert Bell Individually and in his Capacity as a Member of the Monongalia County Board of Health, and West Virginia Newspaper Publishing Company dba Dominion Post
PA-Kelly Reed; Judge-Russell M. Clawges Jr.
* Linda Chico was hired by the Board of Health in March 1989 as an Executive Secretary, serving in this capacity until 1998 when an organizational restructuring did away with the Executive Director's position. Chico's duties were broadened at that time and she reported directly to the Board of Health. In August 2001, the Board of Health appointed Chico Interim Director and her title was changed in October 2001. Chico claims that based on information received from a previous Board of Health member that raised questions of Board Member Robert Bell's potential conflict of interest with respect to the Board of Health. Those conflicts were discussed in an Executive Session of the Board of Health where a motion was made to refer the matter to Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Phil Magro. Chico was aware that at a June 2007 Board meeting, steps were being taken to remove Bell from the Board. The County Commission was made aware of Bell's removal June 28, 2007. The County Commission refused to recognize the Board of Health's action and ordered his reinstatement. At a July 2007 meeting, Bell moved to rescind all action taken by the Board at the June 2008 meeting. Chico contends Bell sought to retaliate against her by meeting with the Dominion Post. Soon after that meeting, the Dominion Post submitted a Freedom of Information Act request regarding Chico's personnel file and qualifications. Chico claims the paper wrote an article claiming she was not qualified for the position she held. In September 2007, she was stripped of all supervisory duties and responsibilities and that the Board of Health would work with the Division of Personnel to determine reclassification for Chico. In addition to reinstatement of her position of Ass't Executive Director and classification of Local Health Administrator I, she is seeking damages, injuries, lost wages, benefits and an award for punitive damages.
Case number: 07-C-852

Jan. 4
Mark Stemple v. Swanson Industries Inc.
PA-J. Bryan Edwards; Judge N/A
* While employed by Swanson Industries and working at their plant in Morgantown, Mark Stemple was required to use a crane/hoist to move tubing he had been working on when the crane/hoist shifted. This shift caused the tubing to violently pull him causing severe and permanent injuries. Stemple seeks compensatory damages for past, present and future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity as well as general damages, and pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and attorney fees.
Case number: 08-C-19

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