CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The parents of a special-needs child asked the West Virginia Supreme Court on Wednesday to declare the firing of former Schools Superintendent Jorea Marple void, calling it an ambush termination that violated the state’s open meetings law.
Mountain State Justice filed an emergency petition with the court on behalf of James Hicks and Michelle Hicks, whose child is a fourth-grader at Brookview Elementary in Foster.
The petition asked the court to temporarily block the West Virginia Board of Education from naming a new superintendent until a hearing is held and to temporarily reinstate Marple.
Board members voted 5-2 last Thursday to fire Marple, whom they appointed to the $165,000-a-year post in March 2011. The recommendation to fire Marple was not specifically listed on the board’s agenda, although other personnel actions were outlined.
“Had the Petitioners and other citizens been notified and aware of certain Board members intention to act on the Superintendent’s position, they and other citizens would have wanted to attend the meeting,” the petition states.
The petition also claims that Marple’s firing was predetermined in discussions held outside regular meetings.