MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A complaint alleging misconduct has been filed against the city of Morgantown in Mon County Circuit Court. According to court documents, negligence, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress, breach of privacy, negligent retention, hiring and supervision.
The suit alleges city officials released the entire unredacted file from a 2016 sexual harassment to a non-profit online watchdog organization called Muckrock.com.
The 2016 incident was resolved internally and settled to the satisfaction of the employee. However, recent actions caused the victim to revisit the case.
All of the participants in the investigation were clearly identified when the files were released to the third party. In the suit, Wheeling-based attorney Teresa Toriseva claims the information was posted online, clearly identifying the employee and causing her to be revictimized.
The suit says in December of 2020 a representative from Muckrock.com, a non-profit organization with the purpose of keeping government transparent received the unredacted file after filing a West Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)request. The information was then posted on the internet without redactions in January of 2021.
State law says the public has access to all public records, but personal, medical or information that would constitute an unreasonable invasion of privacy is not lawful.
The lawsuit also states that Morgantown Public Records Request Regulations requires all request to be reviewed by the FOIA Officer who should remove or redact exempt information. The suit claims the inaction by the city caused harm to the employee.
Toriseva has asked for a jury trial.