Fired superintendent planning lawsuit

By John O'Brien | Jan 8, 2013

CHARLESTON – The state Board of Education can expect a lawsuit over its decision to fire former Superintendent Jorea Marple.

Marple’s attorneys sent a letter of intent to file a lawsuit to the board, the Charleston Daily Mail reported earlier this month. Prospective litigants must provide a 30-day notice period to state agencies before filing suit.

A previous lawsuit claims the board’s Nov. 15 decision was in violation of the Open Governmental Proceedings Act, but it reconvened two weeks later to fire Marple again in a way that was compliant with the act.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the parents of a special needs child, said the Board did not have the question of Marple’s employment on the agenda of its Nov. 14-15 meeting.

On Nov. 29, the board fired Marple again with a properly noticed agenda. Jim Phares is now the state superintendent.

Outgoing state Attorney General Darrell McGraw is married to Marple. He lost his bid for a sixth term in November.

Marple was the state’s first female superintendent, having been sworn in on March 1, 2011.

The Associated Press said Marple has hired four lawyers. They are Rudolph DiTrapano, Patrick Maroney, retired circuit judge Andrew McQueen and Timothy Barber.

DiTrapano’s firm – DiTrapano, Barrett & DiPiero – was picked to represent McGraw’s office several times during his tenure. It also was a frequent campaign contributor of McGraw’s.

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