Community college president named in wrongful termination suit

By Lawrence Smith | Aug 17, 2009

Badgley CHARLESTON - A former administrator at a Charleston-area community college has filed a wrongful termination suit against the college's president.


CHARLESTON - A former administrator at a Charleston-area community college has filed a wrongful termination suit against the college's president.

Joseph L. Badgley, president of West Virginia State Community and Technical College, is named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by Mark E. Davis. In his complaint filed pro se on July 31 in Kanawha Circuit Court, Davis, 51, a Charleston resident, alleges Badgley improperly fired him while on medical leave.

According to court records, Davis began his employment with WVSCTC in October 1996. Though he does not identify his position in his complaint, the termination letter Badgley sent to him date July 30, 2008 shows Davis to be the director of continuing education and community service.

His salary was $43,388.07, according to the state Auditor's Office.

In his suit, Davis claims, on the advice of his doctor, he was placed on medical leave on June 11, 2008. Five days later, Davis was seen by a specialist his doctor recommended, and "began treatment for [his] medical condition."

The condition is not stated in court records.

On Aug. 4, 2008, Davis says the received a certified letter from WVSCTC dated July 30. The letter was not opened until the next day in the presence of his doctor.

The letter, which is attached as an exhibit to Davis' complaint, is from Badgley informing Davis his employment with WVSCTC will be terminated the next day, July 31. In the letter, Badgley reminds Davis that he is a "non-classified will and pleasure appointment," and further states "I do not have confidence in your ability to provide the necessary leadership or to carry out the required duties and responsibilities of the position."

In the termination letter, Badgley informed "An accurate accounting will be made and you will be compensated appropriately for any remaining annual leave accumulation." Apparently, Davis has not been compensated for his leave or the hours he accumulated are in dispute as he claims at the time of this termination, he "was on medical leave under the care of two physicians, had approximately 100 days of sick and annual leave accumulated, and was paying monthly premiums for employee-paid short- and long-term disability insurance through the employer."

Davis is asking he be awarded unspecified damages.

The case is assigned to Judge Louis H. "Duke" Bloom.

Prior to 2008, WVSCTC was a part of West Virginia State University. Last year, the state legislature separated the two though they continue to share the same campus in Institute.

Badgley, a former dean of academic affairs and professor of education at West Virginia University-Parkersburg, was hired as WVSCTC president last June. He was hired to replace former president Ervin V. Griffin, who resigned in September 2006 to become president of Halifax Community College in Weldon, N.C.

In April, WVSCTC announced it would be changing its name to Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College to distinguish itself from WVSU. Badgley, 61, will remain as its president, and earn a salary of $102,555.90.

Kanawha Circuit Court, Case No. 09-C-1397

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