Former Preston County Animal Shelter Manager Courtney Austin and her attorney filed a lawsuit Friday in the United States District Court for the northern district of West Virginia alleging wrongdoings by the Preston County Commission and Craig Jennings, the current president of the Preston County Commission.
Austin was terminated as the shelter manager in February after she posted a statement on the animal shelter Facebook page stating the pipes froze and the shelter was left without water. Jennings argued that there was never a time when the shelter went without heat or water. Later, the commission solicited bids to replace or repair the heating systems at the Preston County Animal Shelter, according to legal filings.
Austin is suing the commission and Jennings for wrongful discharge in violation of West Virginia public policy, violation of the W.Va. whistle-blower law, tort of defamation, violation of the fair labor standards act, W.Va. wage payment and collection act, and violation of due process, according to legal filings.
Austin is requesting a jury trial and that she be reimbursed for back pay, benefits, compensatory and punitive damages, and attorney's fees.