West Virginia to Pay $75k to Settle Sexual Discrimination Case

September 30, 2008

West Virginia will pay $75,000 to a veteran agriculture department employee who threatened to sue for sexual discrimination and workplace retaliation.

The department and Commissioner Gus Douglass admit no wrongdoing in the settlement signed earlier this month with Carolyn Hefner.

Hefner is an assistant to the executive director of the state Conservation Agency, and has been with Agriculture since the late 1990s.

Lawyers for Hefner warned state officials in May that she intended to sue under the state Human Rights Act. That notice does not detail her allegations. Hefner referred questions to her lawyers, who declined to comment on the case.

A lawyer for the conservation agency also declined comment, as did the department and Douglass through a spokesman.

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