City of Buckhannon employee terminated after speaking out at a city council meeting

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 10:28 PM EDT
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BUCKHANNON, W.Va (WDTV) - A Buckhannon city employee was terminated from her position just one day after speaking out in a city council meeting.

Former street department employee, Laura Foulks attended a Buckhannon City Council meeting to share her concerns about the appointment of a new city council member.

Foulks said her concerns centered around the council member’s social media activity, which she felt included racist and bigoted comments.

Foulks brought this up during the public hearing portion of the meeting and didn’t receive the response she had hoped.

“I asked the council what their position was on minorities’ rights. They kind of just shut me down real quickly,” she said.

Foulks was employed by the city to do horticulture work for the street department. She told me when the city hired her, she was verbally promised employment through October 2021.

Some of Foulks’s minority friends had told her they don’t feel safe in Buckhannon, due to hateful comments made by members of the community both online and in person. Foulks added she wanted to do what she could to help others.

“I went there and stood up because I care about people in our town and I want to live in a happy community, not a hateful one,” she said.

Since the incident, Foulks has filed a lawsuit against The City of Buckhannon for wrongful termination and a violation of her first and fourteenth amendment rights.

We reached out to the City Attorney, Tom O’Neill who said the lawsuit was, “Completely without any merit at all.” He expected the city to be vindicated in court.

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