West Virginia Record

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Former Dept. of Agriculture employee alleges retaliatory discharge

By Lawrence Smith | Apr 1, 2010

CHARLESTON - A former state employee alleges he was fired from his job after voicing his opinion about state policy.

Dan Hull on March 5 filed suit against the state Department of Agriculture in Kanawha Circuit Court. In his complaint, Hull alleges he was terminated when DoA officials discovered his displeasure with, and attempt to change, departmental policy.

In his complaint, Hull maintains during his employment he "consistently performed his duties in a satisfactory manner and met the reasonable expectations of the Defendant." On a date not specified in court records, Hull avers he "expressed an opinion regarding a governmental policy and was involved in a effort to amend the policy."

Again, on a date not specified, Hull alleges "when Defendant became aware of the Plaintiff's efforts, it terminated his employment." The suit is unclear as to what policy Hull disagreed with, and what action he was taking to change it.

Also, Hull's suit does not say what he did for DoA, and when he was let go. However, according to the state Auditor's Office, Hull was employed as an inspector from Dec. 16, 1993 to Oct. 30, 2009.

His salary last year was $34,923.54.

In his suit, Hull alleges he was a victim of retaliatory discharge. Along with lost wages, Hull alleges he's suffered "indignity, embarrassment, humiliation, annoyance and inconvenience" as a result of his termination.

Hull seeks unspecified damages, court costs and attorney fees. He is represented by Mark A. Atkinson with the Charleston law firm of Atkinson and Polak.

Records show, DoA's attorney Brian Cokeley, with the Charleston law firm of Steptoe and Johnson, filed a notice with the court DoA would soon be filing its answer to Hull's complaint. Two days later Atkinson notified Coakley of an April 8 scheduling conference before Judge James C. Stucky who's been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 10-C-425

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