EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSSEARCH WARRANT
from Eyewitness News Online
Kan. Co. Prosecutor Investigating W.Va. DHHR Employees Over Bid Process
Reported by: Kennie Bass
Videographer: Matt Durrett, John Tincher
Web Producer: Kennie Bass
Reported: Sep. 12, 2012 6:48 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
The search warrant focuses on the computers, cell phones and communications of Department of Health and Human Resources workers John Law, Susan Perry and Jennifer Taylor.
The three have been working at home since mid-July after they allegedly raised objections over an out-of-state company winning an agency ad contract.
Kanawha County's prosecutor has been asked by the DHHR to look into the matter, to see if any laws were broken in the bidding review process.
Mark Plants/Kan. Co. Prosecutor: "The allegations are that there were some bid...some potential bid tampering that involved some DHHR workers that would potentially be a felony. Anytime that you attempt or conspire to affect a bid which would show favor to a vendor or disfavor to a vendor that's a felony and that's a very, very serious allegation."
DHHR Interim Secretary Rocco Fucillo placed the trio on the paid administrative leave. He has steadfastly refused to talk about their job status.
Sec. Rocco Fucillo/W.VA. DHHR: "The best I'm going to respond to that is with personnel matters is that I think...that I shouldn't comment on the investigation at all."
However the search warrant sheds some light on the allegations. when out-of-state firm Falghren Mortine was awarded the contract over The Arnold Agency of Charleston.
The warrant alleges that Law said he was going to make some calls about the matter....and that he went around campaigning for Arnold to get the contract.
The assistant to the DHHR secretary, Nancy Sullivan is quoted as observing Law acting "frenzied" about the matter. The warrant alleges Law instructed Susan Perry and Jennifer Taylor to conduct a legal review of the process...however other employees warned that isn't a part of the procurement process.
Mark Plants/Kan. Co. Prosecutor: "It doesn't matter who you are, whether you're the governor's son or daughter or Joe Worker on the street, everybody is treated the same. My son should be treated the same just like your son. And I'm going to follow the evidence and enforce the law."
Plants says he should know in a couple of weeks if there is evidence to move forward with the criminal investigation or drop the matter.
Meanwhile, an attorney representing Perry and Taylor has notified the state that he plans to sure Sec. Fucillo on their behalf. The lawyer alleges defamation, gender discrimination, invasion of privacy and several other illegal acts.
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