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Former SAAA director's lawsuit gets trial date

Daily Staff Report

A lawsuit filed against the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging by its former chief administrator could go to trial in October.

Judge Dennis L. Hupp in Warren County Circuit Court on Monday set Helen Cockrell's case against the agency for Oct. 30.

Cockrell, represented by Woodbridge attorney Robert J. Zelnick, claims the SAAA owes her $20,000 in damages for unpaid leave. The amount is far less than the $150,000 in damages sought in her original complaint filed in the court.

The agency terminated Cockrell Sept. 8 after the discovery weeks earlier of nearly $265,000 in unmailed checks to vendors. Ann T. McIntyre and the agency's finance director, Jim Shaffer, were also terminated Sept. 8.

McIntyre filed a lawsuit against the agency seeking more than $2 million in damages. McIntyre claimed agency officials defamed her by speaking to newspapers about her dismissal which she argues arose out of the SAAA's policies governing the use of credit cards, not for mishandling money.

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