MORGANTOWN -- A man is suing the West Virginia University Board of Governors after he claims the school negligently misrepresented his grade point average and degree status.

West Virginia University Board of Governors is being sued on the behalf of West Virginia University and the West Virginia University College of Law.

Joyce E. McConnell, the dean of the College of Law, was also named as a defendant in the suit.

Beginning in the Fall semester of 1998, Charles D. Renton was registered as a full-time student at the WVU College of Law, according to a complaint filed Sept. 19 in Monongalia Circuit Court.

Renton claims he maintained his enrollment through the second summer session of 2003, at which time he completed his requirements for the degree of Doctor of Jurisprudence.

Subsequent to obtaining his degree, Renton registered for the West Virginia Bar Examination and sat for the examination in both 2004 and 2005, according to the suit.

Renton claims at the time of his registration and administration of the West Virginia Bar Examination, the Board of Law Examiners required proof that the applicant had graduated from an accredited law school.

At the time of his registration for the 2004 and 2005 bar examinations, the official records of WVU met the requirements of the Board of Law Examiners by reflecting an award of the degree with Renton’s 2.03 grade point average, according to the suit.

Renton claims unknown to him until August 2011, his official transcripts at WVU had been altered at some point prior to Aug. 10, 2009, to reflect a cumulative grade point average of 1.95.

For a period of time unknown to Renton, but at the very least a period of nearly three years, WVU’s official records indicated that he had not completed his graduation requirements and had not obtained the degree of Doctor of Jurisprudence, according to the suit.

Renton claims after he discovered and notified WVU regarding the altered records, the University Registrar, by correspondence dated April 12, recognized a deficiency in his transcript and forwarded to him a corrected version, reflecting a cumulative grade point average of 2.03.

The defendants knowingly and intentionally caused transcripts to be employed regarding Renton’s law school grades which misrepresented his degree status, according to the suit.

Renton claims McConnell, as chief academic officer of the College of Law, knew or had reason to know that the deficient transcripts did not accurately portray the attainment of his degree.

As a result of the knowing and intentional acts of the defendants, Renton suffered irreparable harm in the form of loss of reputation, loss of employment opportunities and loss of financial resources in having paid to complete a degree that was not reflected on the official transcripts, according to the suit.

Renton is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by Christopher M. Wilson.

Monongalia Circuit Court case number: 12-C-621

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