MORGANTOWN – A former employee is suing the West Virginia University Board of Governors after he claims he was discriminated against and retaliated against by other employees.
Daniel A. Durbin was also named as a defendant in the suit.
Arthur James Bennett was an employee of WVU and his job duties included management and performance of procurement and purchasing functions that involved the use of state and federal funds, according to a complaint filed in Monongalia Circuit Court.
Bennett claims during his tenure, the SciQuest E-Procurement System was obtained by WVU to improve its purchasing practices and procedures and was activated upon purchase, but was not substantively utilized.
On multiple occasions, Bennett expressed to his superiors and others at WVU the fact that SciQuest was not being properly and effective utilized — the effect of which was a waste of government and WVU funds, according to the suit.
Bennett claims his pleas regarding SciQuest continued throughout and up until his termination of employment and went largely unaddressed.
During his tenure, Bennett was often asked by his superiors and others within the department to approve purchases and/or university expenditures that did not meet legal requirements and he refused to approve the expenditures and reported the unlawful requests to agents at WVU, according to the suit.
Bennett claims he was referred to as “inflexible” by his superiors, including Durbin, and was further ostracized from duties within his employment, was often chastised and ridiculed and was otherwise bullied in response to his reporting and expressing his well-founded objections to WVU and the department’s practices.
The discrimination and retaliation Bennett suffered eventually culminated with his termination from employment on Sept. 15, 2014, according to the suit.
Bennett is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by Sean W. Cook of Meyer Ford Glasser & Radman PLLC.
Monongalia Circuit Court case number: 15-C-718