CHARLESTON -- A former employee is suing Attorney General Darrell McGraw after she claims her employment was wrongfully terminated.

Jenny A. Bonham began working for McGraw's office on Nov. 1, 2010, where she was assigned to represent the Division of Motor Vehicles in cases before the Office of Administrative Appeals in Mercer, Greenbrier and Raleigh counties, according to a complaint filed Oct. 27 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Bonham claims on Nov. 4, 2010, she was reassigned to counties in the Eastern panhandle by Managing Deputy Attorney General Barbara Allen.

The distance of the assignment rendered Bonham's representation an impossibility because the nearest assignment would require her to drive nearly five hours away, according to the suit.

Bonham claims on Nov. 15, 2010, Allen acknowledged the impossibility of the assignment and discharged Bonham from her employment.

At the time Bonham was hired by the attorney general, she was making $200 per hour for legal services provided to clients on a self-employed basis and she submitted a bill to the attorney general for her regular hourly rate, plus expenses on a vendor basis, but McGraw refused to pay it, according to the suit.

Bonham claims the defendant maintained that she would be paid as an employee at the rate of pay for the job for which she was hired, but never signed her on as an employee as required by West Virginia Code.

The defendant made false claims regarding contacting Bonham for payment arrangement in order to escape payment, according to the suit.

Bonham is seeking judgment in the amount of $35,000. She is being represented by John T. Bonhamm II.

Chief Deputy Attorney General Fran Hughes on Monday said the case had no merit, but declined further comment.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 11-C-1924

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