CHARLESTON -- A former employee is suing the West Virginia Department of Education and 25 individuals for public corruption, exploitation and wrongful termination, among other things.

On July 12, 2007, Randy G. Whetstone was hired by the administrative council of South Branch Career and Technical Center as the director for the center, according to a complaint filed Nov. 16 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Whetstone claims members of the West Virginia Department of Education chose to treat him as principal of the center, but that he was not hired as such. He claimed by treating him as a principal, the members of the WVDE denied him the contractual rights provided in his position.

According to the suit, Cynthia Kolsun, a member of the WVDE, referred to Whetstone as the principal in her writings.

Whetstone was placed on an administrative review in August 2008. He claims Steven Paine, the State Superintendent of Schools, and Stan Hopkins, a WVDE employee, initiated an illegal plan that was allegedly developed by Ron Grimes and other defendants to get Whetstone removed from his position.

Whetstone claims during his employment, someone filed a false, defamatory report that claimed he badgered women; two student "walk-outs" took place; false accusations were made about him; someone cut the tire stem of a SBCTC school car he had been driving, among other things.

On Nov. 7, 2008, Whetstone was placed on administrative leave by Kolsun without notice and was dismissed in May 2009.

Whetstone is suing for compensatory and punitive damages for counts of public corruption, exploitation, wrongful termination, civil conspiracy, unlawful retaliation, obstruction of justice, extortion, defamation, whistle blower protection, intentional infliction of emotional distress, failure to provide a safe work environment, wrongful termination and breach of contract.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 09-C-2137

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