Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

June 13, 2013

W.Va. county denies wrongdoing in Facebook firing

Associated Press

WHEELING — The Ohio County Commission and sheriff deny they wrongly fired a secretary over a Facebook posting made from her home computer and on her own time.

Sonya Olako says in a federal lawsuit that she was fired last year because she told people to avoid a restaurant owned by a friend of her boss, Ohio County Sheriff Patrick Butler. She says her civil rights were violated.

In a response filed recently in U.S. District Court in Wheeling, county officials say they received a complaint after Olako posted about the restaurant.

But they deny that any friendships with the owner affected the defendants’ behavior.

The county’s attorney wants Judge John Preston Bailey to dismiss the complaint.

Olako is seeking back pay, payment of future lost earnings, and unspecified damages.