Troutman wants over $1 million in damages

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By Susan Sharp

A county employee is claiming her recent termination was without cause and carried out by the wrong person.

On Monday, Melissa “Missy” Troutman filed a $1.3 million lawsuit in Campbell County Circuit. She says in the suit when County Mayor William Baird fired her in early October it was “in order to advance his own personal agenda.” As the lawsuit continues, it asserts Troutman was also terminated from her administrative assistant position with the county’s department of environmental services because she knew Baird had been engaged in “illegal activity.” Her refusal to remain silent about these alleged activities was also a reason Baird terminated her, the lawsuit says.

The filing doesn’t detail what Baird has allegedly done. It simply asserts his actions “violated a clear and well defined public policy of the state.”

Troutman’s next claim says when Baird sent her a letter releasing her from the job she has held since 1999, he lacked the authority to terminate her.

Instead that power belonged to the director of environmental services and a board that no longer exists.

Within the filing the claim is made that in 1992 then County Mayor Tom Stiner sponsored a resolution to enact a solid waste authority board. The function of the board was to oversee the department of environmental services as well as its budget and personnel matters.

Documents included with the lawsuit show the 15-member board met over the course of the 1990s, even developing a solid waste plan for the county. However, there is no recent documentation as to who currently sits on the board and any action it has taken.

David Dunaway, Troutman’s attorney, said because the board was established with a resolution, it must be disbanded in the same fashion. This has not occurred, according to Dunaway.