A state Inspector General who wanted to shut down the Scientology-based Narconon Arrowhead drug treatment facility is suing the state. Kim Poff says she was fired after blowing the whistle on an attempted cover up.
A motion asking for a jury trial in the case was filed in Federal Court Tuesday. In the filing Poff says she not only lost her job with the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse when she pushed to shut down Narconon, but was then fired from her new job at DHS when her attorney told News 9 about what was going on.
On August 19th, 2014 in this story - Narconon Investigators Sue Department Of Mental Health And Substance Abuse - News 9 reported on Poff’s firing from the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse. In court filings at that time, Poff alledged that Commissioner Terry White and other leadership in the agency attempted to hide the findings of her investigation into the deaths of three people at the facility because they "did not want to get involved with litigation involving the Church of Scientology." Poff says she was terminated when she continued to push the state to shut down the facility.
According to the latest motion "Poff was terminated in less than 72 hours from when the story hit the news." Poff's attorney, Rachel Bussett wouldn't comment on the recent filing.
But Gary Richardson, who sued Narconon on behalf of the families of the young people who died there says it appears to him like there was a cover up.
“I have heard through the recent years that that is a concern by the state is having Narconon filed suit against them,” said Richardson Wednesday.
No one from DHS would go on camera, but in legal filings they say DHS director Ed Lake had no idea Poff had been fired from the Department of Mental Health until her story hit the news and when they pulled her file they realized she lied on her application.
Poff's attorney says everyone at DHS involved in hiring her knew what happened at the Dept. of Mental Health before she was hired and the state was conspiring to stop her from talking about it.
A federal judge will now decide if this case will go forward.