KSP sgt. claims agency retaliated against her in lawsuit

KSP seargent claims agency retaliated against her in lawsuit
Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 3:27 PM CDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Kentucky State Police sergeant is suing the agency.

The suit alleges that KSP retaliated against Sergeant Vicki Day after she reported their misuse of federal grant money.

The lawsuit was filed in April on behalf of KSP sergeant Vicki Day.

It makes several claims, including that Kentucky State Police violated Kentucky’s whistleblower act.

Sergeant Day’s attorney, Thomas Clay, says concerns were raised about some of the things that happened on a trip to El Paso Texas.

According to the lawsuit, in November of 2022, Sergeant Day made a protected disclosure to Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Investigator Kat Reed about “illegal and perhaps criminal violations” regarding the trip.

In the suit, Sergeant Day alleges the trip “had no legitimate law enforcement justification.”

It was sensibly for training for these individuals who flew down to El Paso, but as far as we’ve been able to ascertain, there was no training conducted,” said Clay.

Sergeant Day also alleges the trip “was funded illegally with money from a federal grant.”

“My understanding is that it came from a grant that was awarded to KSP for drug training, and there are real questions about whether that grant money was spent properly,” said Clay.

Clay says four KSP command staff members and four female civilian employees went on the trip. According to the suit, the trip cost roughly $26,000.

“There’s been, in my view, retaliation against Sgt. Day for raising concerns about what happened on that trip and the fact that there were irregularities in the funding of that trip and what the purpose of the trip was,” said Clay.

The suit claims Ksp retaliated against sergeant day by “proposing to discipline her with two class C violations which are currently pending.” and argues that “ksp’s attempt to silence (Sgt. Day) appears to violate Kentucky state Law (KRS 344.28).”

In a statement to WKYT, Communications Director for the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, Morgan Hall, said:

“The 2022 training in El Paso was for legitimate law enforcement purposes. KSP does not retaliate against employees for raising concerns or reporting misconduct.”

In an answer filed in Sgt. Day’s case, KSP denied the allegations and asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed.

The trip to Texas and its expenses were approved by KSP Commissioner Phillip Burnett and the Governor’s Office, according to the lawsuit.

Court records indicate Commissioner Burnett will be deposed in this case next week.