Wayne school board dropped as defendant from Hurley's robocall case

By Kyla Asbury and Chris Dickerson | Jul 5, 2017

HUNTINGTON – An amended complaint has been filed in a lawsuit against Wayne County Board of Education’s curriculum specialist alleging he violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act when thousands of Wayne County residents received a recorded telephone message prior to the primary election she went on to win in 2016.

HUNTINGTON – An amended complaint has been filed in a lawsuit against Wayne County Board of Education’s curriculum specialist alleging he violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act when thousands of Wayne County residents received a recorded telephone message prior to the primary election she went on to win in 2016.

JoAnn Hurley claims residents received illegal pre-recorded telephone messages between Feb. 26, 2016 and May 9, 2016, regarding her and her campaign and bid for re-election on the Wayne County Board of Education school board.

Each call contained a negative, false, misleading and/or defamatory pre-recorded statement/message regarding Hurley’s bid for re-election on the school board, according to the suit. However, the source of the illegal pre-recorded message was never disclosed or provided during the message.

Hurley claims records, including Caller ID, listed Thomas Messer as the source of at least one of the calls.

Since the filing of the lawsuit in October 2016, Messer has admitted to being responsible for initiating and broadcasting the illegal pre-recorded messages/calls to both landlines and cellular phones /paging services, according to the suit.

Hurley’s lawsuit was initially filed against the Wayne BOE and Messer. The board was dismissed as a defendant on June 8.

On June 12, Messer's attorney W. Michael Frazier of Frazier & Oxley filed a motion to withdraw as counsel. In that motion, Frazier said Messer had told him he no longer could afford legal counsel and that he plans to file for bankruptcy. 

Hurley is represented by Timothy C. Bailey and J. Ryan Stewart of Bailey Javins & Carter; and Anthony J. Majestro of Powell & Majestro.

The board was represented by Michael J. Farrell of Farrell White & Legg; and Bernard S. Vallejos of Farrell Farrell & Farrell.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 3:16-cv-09949

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Bailey Javins & Carter LC Powell and Majestro U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia Huntington Division

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