Jessamine officials reach deal with ex-deputy jailer

NICHOLASVILLE — Jessamine County officials have reached a settlement with a former jail employee who was fired for allegedly selling drugs but then sought unemployment benefits.

Under a settlement agreement, Dana Whitlock agrees that she will "make no future claims for unemployment benefits" and that she "shall refuse payment of any future unemployment benefits entitled to her."

"She would not only have to pay the money back, but to pay the county back for any expenses whatsoever we had as a result of that," said Assistant Jessamine County Attorney Joseph Allison.

On Friday, Allison and Joshua Nichols, Whitlock's attorney, filed a joint motion to dismiss a suit that the county had filed in January against Whitlock and the Kentucky Unemployment Insurance Commission.

In that suit, the county had appealed a state decision granting Whitlock unemployment benefits.

Whitlock, a former deputy jailer and nurse's aide in the jail, was discharged May 15 after Nicholasville police arrested her on a charge of trafficking in a controlled substance within 1,000 yards of a school. She was not accused of selling drugs to inmates.

In June, a Jessamine County grand jury indicted Whitlock, 42, on five counts of trafficking. The case is pending and has not gone to trial.

Allison said he and Nichols have asked Jessamine Circuit Judge Hunter Daugherty to enter the settlement agreement as an order of the court. That puts some teeth in the agreement so both sides live up to its terms.

"If that were to be violated, she could face jail time or contempt or sanctions by the court," Allison said. "If it stays as just a contract between us, our remedy on that would be only to sue her civilly for breach of contract should she make a claim in the future."

The matter is scheduled to be heard March 11.