CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) — The Eyewitness News iTeam has been looking into allegations of electioneering at the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.
Former and current employees at the health department are speaking out about what they call a climate of fear and retaliation inside the organization.
They are so fearful, they have asked not to be identified.
Three separate people have confirmed that on March 26, 2018, the same day Charleston Police Chief Steve Cooper released rules and regulations governing the health department's needle-exchange program, Brenda Isaac, the president of the board of health convened an unscheduled staff meeting.
In that gathering, those sources tell lead iTeam reporter Kennie Bass that Isaac insisted there had to be a change in the mayor's office and then endorsed Amy Goodwin as Charleston's next mayor. That would be in violation of both state code and county policy.
Sources say Isaac told workers if they lived in Charleston to vote for Goodwin and if they didn't, to encourage 10 city residents to cast their ballots.
When contacted Tuesday about the allegations, Isaac confirmed the meeting took place but denied mentioning Goodwin or any other candidate.
Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper, who helps oversee the board, said he takes allegations of electioneering seriously and that he will get to the bottom of what happened.