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Washington County judge, other officials named in whistleblower lawsuit

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By Adam Brandolph
Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, 6:54 p.m.
 

A former Washington County juvenile probation officer filed a whistleblower lawsuit on Monday claiming he was fired for reporting that his boss coerced colleagues into sending troubled children to a juvenile treatment center where the boss' girlfriend worked.

David Scrip, 53, of Monongahela claims Washington County President Judge Debbie O'Dell Seneca and Thomas Jess, director of the county's probation services, illegally fired him in February when he anonymously reported that Daniel Clements, his direct supervisor as director of the county Juvenile Probation Office, was having a romantic relationship with a woman who worked at Abraxas Youth & Family Services, a youth treatment and detention center.

O'Dell Seneca, Jess and Clements could not be reached. It was unclear whether they had lawyers.

Scrip said he believed the relationship was a conflict of interest, and that Clements made probation officers place juveniles at Abraxas to curry favor for his girlfriend, whose job was to solicit juvenile probation departments to send children to the company's facilities.

“He does the right thing and then he gets axed,” said Scrip's lawyer, Noah Geary.

After a “sham” investigation, according to the lawsuit filed in Common Pleas Court, O'Dell Seneca declared there was no conflict of interest and said she wouldn't tolerate criticism. She fired Scrip on Feb. 18.

Adam Brandolph is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-391-0927 or abrandolph@tribweb.com.

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