West Virginia Record

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Tenured professor sues over forced resignation for allegedly false accusations


By Noddy A. Fernandez | Oct 12, 2018

General court 09

CHARLESTON — A tenured assistant professor is suing a school and its employees/representatives, citing alleged civil conspiracy, defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Shelia Hallman-Warner filed a complaint in Kanawha Circuit Court against the Bluefield State College Board of Governors, Jason Brooks, Shelia Johnson and John Doe alleging that the defendants acted in concert to wrongfully prosecute a tenured employee.

According to the complaint, on 2014, after publicly voicing her concerns regarding defendants' mismanagement of the institution and its finances, Hallman-Warner says she began to receive malicious attacks and was subjected to false and misleading information allegedly provided by defendants in order for her to resign. 

Plaintiff claims despite no proof of her crime or any recorded complaints of disturbance from her during school, the defendants testified under oath against her at a level III grievance hearing. 

The plaintiff holds the defendants responsible because they allegedly provided false and misleading information to the Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney's office in an effort to use a criminal prosecution as leverage to force the plaintiff into resigning.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks a judgment for compensatory, general and punitive damages, pre and post-judgment interest, costs, attorney's fees, and such other future, general or specific relief which the Court may deem proper. She is represented by Ryan J. Umna of Cranston & Edwards, PLLC in Morgantown.

Kanawha Circuit Court Case number 18-C-1066

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Cranston & Edwards, PLLCKanawha Circuit Court

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