Empowering Families sues former employee for violating duties

By Kyla Asbury | Mar 14, 2016

BECKLEY – Empowering Families LLC is suing Uplifting Families LLC and a former employee it claims violated her duties during her employment.

Rema Bulmer, individually and as a former officer/member of Empowering Families, was also named as a defendant in the suit.

On Aug. 1, 2013, Kelli Stevens and Bulmer formed a business entity, at that time a partnership, in relation to which services were provided in the nature of contract services to be rendered to Child Protective Services of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, according to a complaint filed in Raleigh Circuit Court.

Empowering Families and Stevens claim that on Oct. 1, 2014, Stevens and Bulmer converted the business entity into a Limited Liability Corporation and Stevens was designated as the chief financial officer and Bulmer was designated as the supervising social worker of the corporation.

On May 15, Stevens discovered that Bulmer had not, contrary to the agreement and contract between the parties, reimbursed the corporate entity for the withholdings/deductions that had been advanced to the state and federal governments, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim Bulmer was deficient in the required reimbursement to the corporate entity for December 2014 through June and, additionally, she was deficient for reimbursement for the month of October. She was deficient in the total about of $13,000 and have not been tender to the corporate entity.

Bulmer failed to faithfully fulfill the duties to the detriment of Stevens and, ultimately, with all probability, resulting in material logistic shortcomings of the proper paperwork submitted by the corporate entity to the state and requiring massive efforts of Stevens and other personnel to correct Bulmer’s failure, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim during her affiliation with Stevens and as a member of the corporate entity, Bulmer had a fiduciary relationship to conduct her activities all within the legal requirements of the corporate entity and to the benefit of it and Stevens.

Bulmer resigned her position on Oct. 2 and thereafter, on Oct. 10 and 12, in violation of the confidentiality of clients and the corporate entity and in violation of HIPAA, she transmitted to Susan Lanier of the WVDHHR, 126 case summaries arising in five different counties in West Virginia, none of which Lanier had any lawful or corporate interest in whatsoever, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs are seeking judgment in the amount of $13,000; for a court order compelling Bulmer to reimburse Stevens in the amount of $192,000; and punitive damages. They are being represented by James W. Keenan of Keenan & Associates LC.

Raleigh Circuit Court case number: 16-C-56

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