CHARLESTON – Though details about his firing remain a mystery, a former state Department of Agriculture employee's wrongful termination suit has been settled.

Twelve days before it was scheduled to go to trial, a settlement was reached through mediation in Dan Hull's lawsuit against DoA on March 2. A year prior to the settlement, Hull, who worked for the DoA as an inspector in its meat and poultry division for 15 years, filed his suit alleging he was terminated in 2009 after he "expressed an opinion regarding a governmental policy and was involved in an effort to amend the policy."

According to the state Board of Risk and Insurance Management, DoA agreed to pay Hull $300,000. Of that amount, Hull kept $177,029.77, and the remainder was paid to his attorney Mark Atkinson.

Bryan Cokeley with Steptoe and Johnson was paid $13,836.50 for defending DoA in Hull's suit. Records show Judge James C. Stucky approved the settlement on April 6.

The West Virginia Record attempted to obtain more information about not only the settlement, but also what specific policy Hull disagreed with, and was attempting to change that resulted in his termination. Neither Atkinson nor Cokeley were immediately available for comment.

A Freedom of Information Act request sent to DoA for the terms of the settlement was still pending as of presstime.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 10-C-425

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