The Times West Virginian

West Virginia

May 29, 2014

Personnel moves follow Mingo County schools suit

Claims allegations that two boys at middle school sexually abused female classmates brushed aside

CHARLESTON — Some Mingo County school officials have been placed on leave or have left their jobs after a lawsuit claimed they brushed aside allegations that two boys at a middle school sexually abused female classmates.

The county school board placed some employees on leave during the investigation, according to an order signed Wednesday by a Mingo County Circuit Court judge. The order called it a “non-disciplinary action.” The order also said other employees left for “unrelated reasons.”

The order did not name the employees, citing personnel confidentiality rules.

Burch Middle School will have an outside professional serve as principal until the school year ends June 12, according to the order signed by Senior Status Judge John L. Cummings.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said in a news release that some employees had been reassigned.

Morrisey filed a lawsuit earlier this month alleging that girls at the school had been abused by two boys and that Mingo County school officials interfered with a state police investigation. The lawsuit says school administrators retaliated against the girls for reporting their allegations.

Defendants include the principal, vice principal, guidance counselor and a coach, the boys and their parents, the Mingo County School Board and superintendent. Names of the boys and their parents were not released.

The lawsuit asks the court to prevent further abuse and retaliation and bar defendants from interfering with the police investigation.

The boys also face criminal charges filed by Mingo County’s prosecutor.

Wednesday’s order also prohibits all defendants in the lawsuit from having intentional contact with the alleged victims and their families.

The order requires school officials to reveal all sexual abuse complaints from the past five years.

At his parents’ request, one of the boys will leave Burch Middle for the rest of the school year. The order says the second boy no longer attends the school.

Protection for the girls could be extended into next school year if necessary, the order states. Ongoing discipline against female victims will be discontinued.

The lawsuit came less than a year after a former Mingo County judge, prosecutor, magistrate and county commissioner pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a federal corruption probe. The county also was rocked in 2013 by the slaying of its sheriff.

The lawsuit says the girls relayed sexual abuse allegations to a guidance counselor in the spring 2012-13 school year — non-consensual fondling, groping and molestation, “oftentimes forcible in nature.”

It says the abuses occurred during the 2012-13 school year and continued through the date the lawsuit was filed.

The victims identified the same two male seventh graders, both of whom are related to Mingo County school system employees.

A voicemail seeking comment from Mingo County schools superintendent Randy Keathley’s office was not returned Wednesday.


Text Only
West Virginia
  • Attorney general reaches $950,000 settlement with three financial groups

    West Virginia’s attorney general has reached a $950,000 settlement with three companies over allegations of antitrust law violations.

    July 28, 2014

  • Woman convicted in teen’s slaying moved

    A Monongalia County teenager has been transferred to a state prison to complete her sentence for the slaying of another teenager.
    The Lakin Correctional Center near Point Pleasant said Friday Rachel Shoaf has been booked at the Division of Corrections prison. Shoaf turned 18 last month and had been held in a juvenile facility.

    July 26, 2014

  • Board suspends clinic operator’s license

    A West Virginia board Friday suspended the license of the operator of a pain management clinic where investigators found syringes were being reused. It was the second disciplinary action involving the doctor’s license within a decade.

    July 26, 2014

  • Candidates: Leave global warming debate to scientists

    Two West Virginia congressional hopefuls said during their first candidate forum matchup Thursday that the global warming debate is better left to scientists.
    Democrat Nick Casey and Republican Alex Mooney added that other countries should step up in reducing carbon emissions.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lawsuit filed over Dirty Girl Mud Run

    A lawsuit has been filed against the producers of a run that was canceled in Charleston in which participants were told they wouldn’t be issued refunds.

    July 24, 2014

  • WVa. man sues GM over wife's death

    A West Virginia man has filed a lawsuit against General Motors Corp., claiming a defective ignition switch in a Chevrolet Cobalt caused a 2006 accident that killed his pregnant wife.

    July 24, 2014

  • Feds commit to health studies on spilled chemical

    After largely dismissing the possibility of long-term health problems, federal officials will conduct more studies on chemicals that spilled into West Virginia’s largest drinking water supply in January.
    In the next two months, federal health officials are also heading back to West Virginia.

    July 24, 2014

  • Park Service assesses impact of W.Va. attractions

    Four National Park Service attractions in West Virginia drew a total of 1.5 million visitors last year.

    July 23, 2014

  • This weekend's 'Dirty Girl' race canceled

    Organizers of a Charleston running event that was canceled for this weekend says it won’t issue refunds.

    July 23, 2014

  • Reporter heard truck backfiring, not gunshot

    Similar sounds in different circumstances create different reactions. That is so for WVVA reporter Annie Moore, who last Monday told police someone fired a gun at her while she was shooting file footage in the area of a recent murder.

    July 19, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads