Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Warner

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Warner

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Shrinking government?

Under the ancient "spoils system, newly elected politicians often fired government workers to make public jobs available for their campaign supporters. In 1976, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that such ousted employees (except top decision-makers) could sue for wrongful dismissal. Now the predictable has happened, and some state workers fired by Warner are suing. West Virginia taxpayers will be stuck for legal costs as the lawsuit proceeds. If the dismissed employees win, taxpayers will be stuck more, for back pay and reinstatement.

Appearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Monday, Warner testified that his firing and hiring were "just what we needed to do to move the office forward. But Sen. Doug Facemire, D-Braxton, countered: "You know what it looks like on the surface. …

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