Former Ravenswood city clerk files discrimation suit against city

By Kyla Asbury | Nov 16, 2015

RIPLEY – A man is suing the City of Ravenswood after he claims his employment was wrongfully terminated.

Michael McCann was employed by the City of Ravenswood as a city clerk from Nov. 2, 2011, until his termination on Aug. 19, 2014, according to a complaint filed in Jackson Circuit Court.

McCann claims as part of his job responsibilities, he was responsible for reconciling the accounts pertaining to the city's water department and in early 2014, he began to notice discrepancies between the bills, collections and accounts receivables.

The plaintiff reported the discrepancies to his supervisor, however, no action was taken and in April/May 2014, he approached the city's accountant while he was meeting with McCann's supervisor and again raised the issue of the discrepancies, according to the suit.

McCann claims during the meeting, the city's accountant concurred with him and explained to his supervisor that there were indeed significant discrepancies in various accounts and, when McCann's supervisor ignored the discrepancies, he reported the issue to the mayor and members of City Council.

Despite McCann's repeated reports, no action was taken by the city to address the discrepancies in the accounts and, instead, he noticed that the mayor and his supervisor's temperament toward him become more repressive, according to the suit.

McCann claims on July 2, 2014, while he was home on vacation, he received a Facebook message from his supervisor advising that he had been chosen for a random drug test and that he needed to report for the random drug test that day, despite the fact that he was on vacation.

The plaintiff had previously disclosed to the defendant that he had a disability and took multiple medications for chronic back pain, but had never previously been advised that he was subject to random drug testing and was not employed in a safety-sensitive position.

On July 15, 2014, McCann was called into a meeting with the city recorder, the mayor and his supervisor and was informed he had failed to drug test. During the meeting, he was advised that he could keep his job if he signed a letter agreeing to be subjected to additional unannounced drug tests for the next 12 months, according to the suit.

McCann claims he advised the defendant that he wanted to review the city's drug testing policy and consider his options and, on July 25, 2014, he received a letter from the mayor stating that he would be required to submit to unannounced drug testing for 12 months.

About a week after receiving the letter, McCann told the mayor he wished to have a meeting about the drug test, the city's policy and the requirements the city wished to place on him, but was advised by the mayor that there would be no meeting and that if he wished to keep his job, he had to sign the letter, according to the suit.

McCann claims on Aug. 19, 2014, he was called into a meeting with the mayor, the city recorder and his supervisor, informing him his employment was being terminated due to the failure of the July 2, 2014, drug test.

The defendant violated West Virginia public policy, the West Virginia Human Rights Act and invaded McCann's privacy.

McCann is seeking compensatory damages with pre-judgment interest. He is being represented by Richard W. Walters of Shaffer & Shaffer PLLC.

The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Thomas C. Evans II.

Jackson Circuit Court case number: 15-C-136

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