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Lawsuit filed against Cumberland Valley District Health Department

MANCHESTER, Ky. (WYMT) - A Cumberland Valley District Health Department employee says she was punished for reporting possible retirement fund violations to the Attorney General.

Now a lawsuit has been filed against the health department.

Registered Nurse Fonda Harris was considering retirement. She claims on January 25th, the Kentucky Retirement System told her no money had gone into her retirement account for at least six months. However, Harris says the money came out of her paychecks.

"The worst part is, they're taking the wages Fonda herself worked and they're not sending those, and there's no excuse for that," said Bryan Sergent, Attorney for Harris.

Harris reported it to the Attorney General's office. Tuesday, she filed a lawsuit against the Cumberland Valley District Health Department, the Board of Directors, Chairman John Parsons, and Acting Director Lynnett Renner. The lawsuit was filed in Clay County Circuit Court.

In the lawsuit, Harris claims Renner reprimanded her when she reported potential violations to the Attorney General's Office.

"The fact she had a spotless record for 22 years at the Health District and then all the sudden she's getting reprimanded for exercising her constitutional right you and I take for granted many times, we believe this is the only avenue for Fonda to take to protect herself," said Sergent.

The lawsuit accuses the Cumberland Valley District Health Department of violating Kentucky's Whistleblower Act.

WYMT contacted the Cumberland Valley District Health Department's attorney in Lexington but have not heard back yet.

Last week, Cumberland Valley District Health Department Interim Director Lynnett Renner told us the money was being withheld from the retirement accounts because they could not afford the matching payment right now.

Renner said they hope to resume payments in March.


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