Washington County judge, other officials named in whistleblower lawsuit
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.