OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — Nine former employees with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections began the legal process of filing a lawsuit against the department.

“We’re disrespected, unappreciated and frankly mistreated,” said Dr. Ross Fisher, former Chief Medical Officer.

Dr. Fisher said he was a dedicated employee with the Department of Corrections for nearly 10 years. Then in February, his life got turned upside down.

“Just completely out of the blue, our chief of operations approached me and said that I was terminated and there was no cause, no justification or legitimate reason,” said Fisher.

Before his termination he was the Chief Medical Officer, this was one of several key positions DOC Director Steven Harpe replaced.

“There’s been several wardens several deputy wardens chief of communications the chief of human resources,” explained Fisher.

A total of nine tort claims have been filed claiming ‘wrongful’ terminations.

Fisher said it’s about making the DOC accountable.

“There just is no rational justification for the broad terminations of so many people that in dedicated many years service and have many years of experience in corrections,” explained Fisher.

The Department said the Office of Management and Enterprise Services now has 90 days to approve or deny relief.

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections received notice from OMES Risk Management that tort claims were filed on behalf of nine former ODOC employees. These are not lawsuits but a mandatory prerequisite to suing the State of Oklahoma for an alleged tort committed by a state employee acting within the scope of employment. Of these nine claims, four employees were terminated, four resigned and one retired. OMES has 90 days to approve or deny relief. If denied, claimants have 180 days to file a lawsuit against the State of Oklahoma. Currently, ODOC is awaiting a decision from OMES.

The Department of Corrections

“The sooner that accountability can be achieved, the better it is for the state,” added Fisher.

Fisher said he had the option to resign instead of being fire but chose to be fired rather than admitting he had done anything wrong.