State police deny allegations in whistleblower lawsuit

The troopers contend evidence was stolen by a KSP sergeant for "personal gain and to benefit his family members."

February 1, 2020

The Kentucky State Police deny any wrongdoing in response to a civil lawsuit filed by three current and former Kentucky State Police Post 4 employees, who claim other employees stole evidence and they faced retaliation for reporting their concerns.

The seven-page reply was filed in January in Franklin Circuit Court to the civil suit brought by Sgts. Kevin Burton and Mike Garyantes and Lt. Frank Taylor against KSP and the state of Kentucky.

KSP denied the four primary contentions by the men:

  • That between July and November 2019, three pair of Eddie Bauer tennis shoes and other items of evidence seized from criminal cases were removed from one of three evidence rooms KSP maintains.
  • That KSP's actions against the men resulted in injuries and damages because they received no protection from reprisal or retaliation as required for public employees who disclose or report violations of the law — known as "whistleblower" status.
  • That Garyantes was suspended, while Burton received a constructive discharge under the threat of a transfer and Tay­lor was transferred to the Hen­derson post.
  • That the men disclosed "irregularities and thefts of evidence" to their KSP supervisors as well as Hardin County Commonwealth's Attorney Shane Young.
  • The troopers contend evidence was stolen by a KSP sergeant for "personal gain and to benefit his family members."

    The suit claims after reporting their allegations the officers "were also repeatedly threatened that they would have adverse employment actions taken against them if they continued to report the thefts and inappropriate acquisitions from the evidence room and inpound lot."

    Young has said he would not comment on the suit, given "I may be a witness in this matter and I should not comment." There are no allegations any of the described retaliation was by Young, only KSP officials, according to the suit.

    The suit doesn't state any individuals who were made aware of the complaints and does not identify who reportedly made threats. The suit said the men "learned that items of evidence from active investigations" were being removed.

    Burton, Garyantes and Tay­lor are seeking lost wages, punitive damages and a jury trial.

    ...

    State police deny allegations in whistleblower lawsuit | Local News | thenewsenterprise.com

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