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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A lawsuit has been filed alleging that officials with the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training retaliated against whistleblowers in the agency.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday by six current and former employees against the agency responsible for training many law enforcement officers across the state, four of its top officials and the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, the Courier Journal reported.

The complaint filed by attorney Thomas Clay accuses the defendants of fabricating "a plan to terminate, demote, isolate and/or marginalize” the plaintiffs for reporting allegations that included discrimination and misconduct.

Justice Cabinet spokeswoman Morgan Hall said the Department of Criminal Justice Training was reorganized to improve training, services and the environment for employees, adding that “any claims to the contrary are meritless.”

 

The complaint says problems began in 2019 when Commissioner Nicolai Jilek replaced former commissioner Alex Payne shortly after Gov. Andy Beshear took office. Payne alleged age discrimination and the plaintiffs say there were retaliated against partially due to their support for the former commissioner's claim.

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