Essential reporting in volatile times.

Not a Subscriber yet? Click here to take advantage of All access digital limited time offer $2.99 per month EZ Pay.

Interested in Donating? Click #ISupportLocal for more information on supporting local journalism.

WILLIAMSON — An attorney for Logan Mingo Area Health denies the claims made by a former employee who says he was fired for breaking off a romantic relationship with his supervisor.

“While it is quite disappointing that all parties in the suit were not given equal representation in the article, LMAMH is taking appropriate and aggressive action to defend itself and Ms. Cooke against such blatantly false statements and misrepresentations,” Anna Ballard of the law firm Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown and Poe said in a prepared statement. “LMAMH looks forward to presenting the facts in the case in a jury trial which is, we believe, the proper venue for resolving issues related to disciplinary actions and subsequent terminations.”

Venturino filed his complaint in Mingo Circuit Court against Logan-Mingo Area Health Inc. and Donna J. Cooke.

According to the complaint, Venturino began working for Logan-Mingo in June 2018. Cooke was his supervisor. Soon after, he and Cooke began a mutual romantic relationship. He says the relationship intensified, and they took several trips together, including to the Greenbrier Resort and to a Logan County Chamber of Commerce event.

He also says Cooke eventually “became borderline obsessed” with him.

In the lawsuit, Venturino said he began to distance himself from Cooke, fearing she was becoming irrational and that she could adversely affect his employment.

On March 19, 2020, Venturino learned he was being fired, according to the suit.

A lawsuit outlines the complaint of one party against another. It does not address both sides of the issue in question.