Disciplined state workers tell their side in cabinet hearing

By MELISSA ARNOLD State Journal Staff Writer Published:

Melissa Brewer says she felt badgered when interviewed by key personnel officials in the Cabinet for Health Services over accusations she'd violated work rules.

"I thought I was just being interviewed for how time and attendance was done in our department, I didn't know the interview was part of an investigation," Brewer testified Friday. "I was asked the same question three or four times until they got an answer they liked. They put words in my mouth. I couldn't win if I was already presumed guilty."

Brewer, an administrative specialist, is one of three employees in the cabinet who are appealing actions taken against them last summer for filing false time sheets and misusing the Internet. The others are Jennifer Cohorn and Beverly Stokes.

They appeared Friday at an evidentiary hearing before John Ryan, the hearing officer assigned to the case.

Brewer, Cohorn and Stokes previously contended there were too many discrepancies in the evidence used against them. They claim they were singled out and disciplined for what was common practice in their office - and tried to portray that in their defense Friday.

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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