Jarrod Fletcher, who was suspended in 2013 from his position as director of Mingo County’s Emergency Services Director, has filed a lawsuit to get his job back.
Fletcher is suing the Mingo County Commission (MCC) and Commissioner Diann Hannah separately.
Fletcher’s attorney is Rob Kuenzel, a Logan County attorney. He said Thursday that his client deserves to have the suspension settled. “That is all we are asking for, that this is resolved,” Kuenzel said.
Fletcher was implicated by federal prosecutors in a scheme with the county’s former Circuit Judge Mike Thornsbury, but was never charged.
Fletcher was suspended in 2013, but never terminated from the position he held.
Kuenzel said that Fletcher did not want to comment either.
Commissioners Greg “Hootie” Smith and John Mark Hubbard voted to suspend Fletcher in 2013 indefinitely and without pay. David Baisden, who was also a commissioner at the time, didn’t participate in the vote to suspend Fletcher.
Commissioners Smith and Hubbard would not comment on the suit.
Baisden was indicted for a different situation and later pleaded guilty and is currently serving his sentence in a federal prison. He later resigned as a commissioner.
Diann Hannah was elected last year to fill the remaining years of Baisden’s term. She believes commissioners need to come to an agreement about Fletcher’s employment.
“I am entitled to my opinion,” Hannah said. “I have never said anything negative about him (Fletcher).”
“There’s a big cloud hanging over his head. I personally wouldn’t put him back to work at that job,” Hannah said. “I am speaking as a citizen and not a county commissioner.”
During the investigation into Judge Thornsbury, and according to federal prosecutors, Thornsbury put Fletcher, who was “his friend and business partner,” in charge of a Mingo County Grand Jury. Fletcher served as foreman of the jury.
Federal prosecutors alleged that Fletcher worked with Thornsbury to help put a man in jail.
Allegedly the conspiracy was to plant drugs on Robert Woodruff, the husband of Thornsbury’s former secretary.
Fletcher was prohibited by state law from serving on a grand jury because he was considered an officeholder.
Reportedly Fletcher signed a volunteer agreement with federal prosecutors, which provided him some protection against prosecution in the Mingo County case.
The indictment charging Thornsbury with the plot against his secretary’s husband was later dismissed after he pleaded guilty in another case.
Thornsbury is currently serving a 50-month prison sentence in a federal prison. Fletcher and Thornsbury were later sued over the allegations contained in the indictment.
(Kyle Lovern is the Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)