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Governor Fallin's Office Agrees To Settlement In Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

Dec 8, 2014

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Governor Mary Fallin's office has agreed to pay $125,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by the former director of Fallin's Tulsa office.

The Tulsa World reported the dismissal of the wrongful termination lawsuit on Sunday. Wendy Gregory filed the suit claiming she was fired because the governor's office feared bad publicity after the Internal Revenue Service sought to garnish her salary due to a child support dispute involving her husband and his previous wife.

Gregory has said the IRS soon withdrew the action.

She said in the lawsuit that Fallin's chief of staff, Denise Northrup, told her the governor's office "can't have this," in reference to the IRS action.

Spokesmen for Fallin deny that Gregory's dismissal was related to the garnishment issue.

Spokesman Alex Weintz has said an internal review found the Tulsa office director position wasn't worth the costs and that Gregory wasn't performing satisfactorily.

The vast majority of the payment is covered by the state's risk management policy, Weintz said.

"In an effort to minimize litigation and legal fees, the state has accepted a settlement deal," he said. "The legal issues have been resolved, and the case has been dismissed."

Gregory declined a request for comment.

"She wants to move on with her life," her attorney, Tony Mareshie, said.

As part of the settlement, Gregory also agreed to dismiss an Open Records Act lawsuit filed against Fallin's office. Gregory's attorneys say they were compelled to file a second lawsuit to get a copy of Gregory's personnel file.

They originally asked for the file in early July 2013, after Weintz told reporters that Gregory was dismissed because the Tulsa position had been eliminated and because of her "unsatisfactory job performance."

The second lawsuit was filed in October 2013 and the personnel file was delivered to the attorneys in April 2014.

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