Victor Flanagan, one of the attorneys representing the board, confirmed the attorneys involved made the decision. The board is still adamant it did not violate the law during the Nov. 15 meeting, and the decision to pay Marple is not an admission of wrongdoing, Flanagan said.
Saying it was better to "err on the side of caution," Flanagan thought it was a good idea to pay Marple now just in case a court were to eventually determine the board had violated the law during the first meeting.
The news that Marple was to be paid came as a surprise to board member Jenny Phillips.
"The board has not approved that, that I know of, and I have not gotten any emails from the department at all," Phillips said Friday afternoon in a telephone interview.
The board worked with the state Ethics Commission to write its agenda for the Thursday meeting, Linger said. A 2005 commission opinion allows a public agency to remedy potential Open Meetings concerns by essentially conducting the same meeting publicly in a way that is not ceremonial or "perfunctory."
After having the second meeting, listening to public comment about Marple, voting to fire her again and discussing some of the reasons the board was ready to move in a new direction, not paying Marple for the two-week period would have been a "half measure," Linger said.
"It's just a logical thing; it seemed logical to me. And I think that the lawyers agreed," Linger said.
Marple was officially removed from the state payroll following the Nov. 15 vote, said Justin Southern, spokesman for Auditor Glen Gainer, on Friday. At some point between Nov. 16 and Nov. 30 the department sent the auditor's office a document that returned Marple to the payroll, Southern said.
Linger said he did not know the particulars of the payment procedure, but he's sure the board and department acted properly.
"I think it was the right thing to do. I'm not sure what the official approval process is, but I'm confident that it was followed," Linger said.
Marple's most recent payment was processed Friday and was on its way to her in the form of a check or direct deposit, according to state records. Marple did not return a message left Sunday.
Chuck Heinlein, formerly the deputy superintendent, was appointed superintendent hours after Marple was fired the first time. The board wants to conduct a national search for a long-term superintendent.
A department spokesperson declined comment, citing litigation.
Staff writer Ry Rivard contributed to this article.
Contact writer Dave Boucher at 304-348-4843, david.bouc...@dailymail.com or on Twitter at @Dave_Boucher1.