The Times West Virginian

West Virginia

December 1, 2012

Parents press Marple case; board responds

CHARLESTON — Parents of a West Virginia public school student filed papers Friday continuing their court challenge of the firing of Jorea Marple as state superintendent, rejecting Thursday’s do-over vote by the Board of Education to dismiss her as a “dog and pony show.”

James and Michelle Hicks allege that the only way to remedy what they call willful violations of the state’s Open Governmental Meetings Act would be for the state Supreme Court to declare Marple’s initial, Nov. 15 firing invalid and bar the board from naming a new superintendent.

In its own court filing, the board on Friday defended its handling of the Nov. 15 meeting at which it voted 5-2 to oust Marple. The agenda for that meeting included personnel matters as a topic, but Marple’s was not among the two specific cases listed.

“The plain language of this agenda clearly states that personnel matters were to be discussed, and it does not include any exclusionary language limiting the Board to only discuss the two employees specifically mentioned,” the board’s filing said.

The response argues further that Thursday’s vote affirming Marple’s firing remedies any potential violation of the sunshine law.

The couple disagrees in its Friday filing.

“It is clear that the (board’s) remedial measures were nothing more than a ceremonial and perfunctory ratification of its prior termination,” that filing said, adding that “the remedial measures of the Board amounted to nothing more than a dog and pony show.”

The Hickses have alleged that a lawyer for the board warned President Wade Linger not to act against Marple at the Nov. 15 meeting in the absence of proper public notice, but that Linger “responded that he would take his chances.” The board’s response does not address that allegation specifically, but does say that “strong suggestions or inferences alluded to by Petitioners do not change the facts of this matter or the manner in which the decision was made by the Board.”

The board’s response also notes that it has paid Marple for the period between Nov. 15 and Thursday, in the event an open-meetings violation is found.

The Hickses also question the board’s explanation for Marple’s firing: that it desires a change in direction and leadership because of poor student achievement and graduation rates.

“It is believed that the Superintendent’s refusal to support certain no-bid contracts and contracts in which certain Board members have an interest is the true reason for her termination,” the couple’s filing said in a footnote, with no additional details.

James and Michelle Hicks are the parents of a fourth-grade special-needs student in Boone County. They are represented by the public-interest law firm Mountain State Justice. Lawyers with the Charleston firm of Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown & Poe filed the board’s response.

 

1
Text Only
West Virginia
  • 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

  • Cornhole champions being decided in Charleston

    Cornhole, the strange-sounding game made popular in backyards and at football tailgate parties, is taking on a serious side this week.
    The American Cornhole Organization will crown its world champions as about 380 competitors from 17 states vie for $10,000 in prize money in singles and doubles events.

    July 19, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads