New defendant named in Greenwood DHEC TB lawsuits - FOX Carolina 21

New defendant named in Greenwood DHEC TB lawsuits

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NINETY SIX, SC (FOX Carolina) -

A new defendant has been added to the lawsuits filed on behalf of three state health department nurses, who claim they were fired in the wake of a tuberculosis outbreak in Greenwood County.

Attorney John Reckenbeil of Spartanburg filed the suits Thursday, which names Tammy McKenna as a new defendant.

According to Reckenbeil, McKenna is currently an employee of the Department of Health and Environmental Control's TB control division. According to the South Carolina Secretary of State's Office, she's also a organizer in S&T TB Consulting, LLC, a business that was formed just weeks before news of the TB outbreak became public.

Filings with the Secretary of State's Office show that McKenna and Shea Rabley formed the company in mid-May. Reckenbeil claims McKenna and Rabley, who was most recently the director of DHEC's TB control division, conspired to profit off the Greenwood County outbreak, by launching the business.

Furthermore, Reckenbeil said he also believes that information about the outbreak given to Rabley and McKenna by his clients could have been deliberately withheld from DHEC superiors in an effort to further benefit the consulting business.

The outbreak at Ninety Six Primary School, which first came to light in late May, resulted in massive testing among students and staff. DHEC said out of 575 people that have been tested there, 74 had positive TB screening test results, and 12 had abnormal chest x-rays.

Reckenbeil represents Malinda Martin, Latrinia Richard and Anne Ashley, and all three said they were nurses for local and regional DHEC offices, before they were fired in the wake of the TB outbreak.

All three women are suing for wrongful termination, alleging that employees at the DHEC TB office in Columbia had not responded to repeated requests for more help and guidance, and when it finally did come, the women claim they were made into scapegoats and fired.

In addition to McKenna, Rabley and S&T TB Consulting, LLC, DHEC itself is also named in the lawsuits.

Calls to McKenna's work phone were not returned Thursday, and no one answered at her home. Rabley has denied requests to comment on the case.

DHEC said they can't comment on personnel matters, or pending litigation.

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