The McCracken County Fiscal Court has agreed to settle a lawsuit with a former deputy county clerk.
The county and its insurance company will pay Leslie Hannan a total of $345,000, with $195,000 coming from the county.
Hannan reported McCracken County clerk Jeff Jerrell to the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office and state auditor’s office in 2011 for alleged tax fraud and other issues within the clerk’s office, including real estate taxes not being properly recorded and the use of IOUs for filing fees. Hannan was let go the following January.
“It was our belief that once she did that, she was retaliated against and ultimately terminated from her employment by Jeff Jerrell," said Shane Sidebottom, Hannan's attorney. "So, Kentucky has a law called the whistleblower statute. It protects public employees who report wrongdoing, misconduct or a violation of policy or ordinance."
Sidebottom said that before Hannan was let go, the office environment became “an unbearable place to work.”
Hannan worked for the county clerk’s office for more than 20 years, and at the time of her termination was only one year away from full state pension retirement.
Jeff Jerrell and McCracken County judge-executive Van Newberry could not be reached for comment.