Akers’ attorney Steven Megerle, a Covington City Commissioner, claims that Akers was terminated from her position without “notice, cause, or a hearing by Judge Executive Albey Brock, Jr. last year.”
The prosecution states that Akers seeks monetary damages for alleged violations of federal, state, and local law when Akers was allegedly denied levels of due process including notice, right to counsel, and a hearing prior to termination.
Attorney Megerle, in his statement concerning Aker’s suit, attributes her termination to politics. Akers ran for Bell County Circuit Court Clerk against a candidate — the public statement asserts — that was supported by Judge Brock (current Circuit Court Clerk Colby Slusher). Akers lost the bid while still employed by the county. According to Megerle’s statement, Akers claims she reported perceived violations of federal and state election law during this Nov. 2006 campaign season to the state attorney general’s office. Akers believes that her report regarding perceived election irregularities led to her subsequent termination in Dec. 2007.
After her termination, Akers was arrested on Jan. 31 on the charge of tampering with public records.
At the time of her arrest, Bell County Attorney Neil Ward alleged that Akers returned to the office on Jan. 3 and stole or destroyed thousands of documents, including critical court documents. The case is pending review in Bell County Circuit Court.
“Prior to filing the action, I made two attempts to settle this matter with the county and they (Judge Executive Brock and County Attorney Ward) never responded,” said Megerle, who filed the action in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Megerle said his client was amenable to a settlement prior to filing the action.
“I have been advised by our council at Kentucky Association of Counties (KACO) that no response is necessary to this claim from my office. But I will say, the County Attorney’s decision is one that I supported then and now,” Judge Brock stated. He added, “As we all know, you can sue for being served a hot cup of coffee at McDonald’s. With that, it would not be prudent for me to respond to particulars of a legal matter involving an ex-employee of the County Attorney’s Office.“
“Our case has merit and poses significant liability on the county for conduct of its elected officials. Bell Countians deserve good government and not hasty decisions because of political alliances,” Megerle said.
Judge Brock responded to Megerle, saying, “The County Attorney dismissed Akers over a year after the election was over, so anyone can see that claim is ridiculous.”
Attorney Ward could not be reached for comment on Friday, a representative stated that Ward was attending a funeral. Akers could not be reached for comment.
Managing Editor Brandy Calvert (firstname.lastname@example.org) contributed to this report. Staff Writer Stephen Woodward can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.