Whistleblower blames former employer for alleged retaliatory discharge

By Robert Hadley | May 23, 2016

CHARLESTON – A former sergeant with the Southern Regional Jail says he was forced to resign after reporting alleged corruption.

Jason Hefner filed a lawsuit April 18 in Kanawha Circuit Court against the state of West Virginia Regional Jail Authority, alleging retaliatory discharge.

According to the complaint, Hefner became aware of the alleged corruption after investigation a fight that broke out between female inmates at the Southern Regional Jail last October. The suit says one of the inmates involved revealed information about alleged relationships between officers and inmates and the exchange of contraband.

Once Hefner completed his report and submitted it supervisors, he claims he was called into a meeting where the investigation was criticized and his job was threatened. After a supervisor warned Hefner he was facing termination, the plaintiff says he stepped down from his position. However, the suit claims he later learned no disciplinary action had been planned.

Hefner seeks a jury trial, compensation under the West Virginia Whistleblower Act, reimbursement for lost wages, interest and litigation expenses. He is represented by attorney Todd S. Bailess of Bailess Smith PLLC in Charleston.

Judge Carrie L. Webster is assigned to the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court Case number 16-C-585

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Kanawha Circuit Court State of West Virginia

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