CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- State schools Superintendent Jorea Marple was fired two weeks ago for refusing to support no-bid contracts and contracts tied to state Board of Education members, according to lawyers suing the state board.
Mountain State Justice, a Charleston-based public interest law firm, made the allegations Friday in a brief filed with state Supreme Court.
The firm is suing the board for violating the Open Meetings Act when it originally fired Marple two weeks ago. The lawsuit, initially filed last week, is on the behalf of parents of a student in Boone County.
The new document filed Friday does not elaborate on what contracts might have played a role or which board members are believed to have interest in these contracts. Board of Education President Wade Linger did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
"It is believed that the state Superintendent's refusal to support certain no-bid contracts and contracts in which certain Board members have an interest is the true reason for her termination," the court filing said.
The firm filed the document to supplement its lawsuit filed last week. The new filing comes as a direct result of the board re-firing Marple on Thursday amid concerns they fired her illegally the first time around.
On Nov. 15 the board voted to fire Marple as state superintendent. Several days later, the firm filed suit in the state Supreme Court accusing the board of knowingly violating the Open Meetings Act when it fired Marple.
Theresa Kirk, head of the state Ethics Commission, previously told the Daily Mail public board's generally can't add something to a meeting agenda in the middle of a meeting. However, she also pointed to a 2005 opinion of the commission that states a board can make up for any non-intentional mistake if the board takes "reasonable remedial measures over and above ceremonial and perfunctory ratification" of the original action.
The board met again Thursday to discuss Marple's standing, and eventually voted to fire her again. After the vote, Linger listed some of the reasons he thought she should be fired, and said he hoped the meeting had cleared up some concerns about board transparency.