Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

WV State News

February 1, 2013

Fired W.Va. schools chief gets retirement benefits

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Fired state schools superintendent Jorea Marple has received her first retirement benefits from the state.

Marple and her husband, former state attorney general Darrell McGraw, applied for benefits for their years of public service, The Charleston Daily Mail (http://bit.ly/VsffgJ) reported. McGraw, a Democrat, lost in the November election to Republican Patrick Morrisey.

Marple and McGraw together will receive more than $180,000 a year in pensions. The newspaper obtained the figures from the Consolidated Public Retirement Board through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Board Executive Director Jeff Fleck says Marple started receiving $8,921 a month in January from the Teachers Retirement Fund. McGraw will receive $6,227 a month from the Public Employees Retirement System.

Marple salary as superintendent was $167,000 a year.

Her attorneys told the state Board of Education that Marple plans to sue over her Nov. 15 firing, calling it illegal. A letter sent to the board in late December provided the 30-day advance notice required by law before a state agency or official can be sued in such instances.

No lawsuit had been filed in Kanawha County Circuit Court as of Thursday.

The board revisited Marple's firing and again voted to oust her in a late November meeting meant to quell any concerns over the open government law. Two board members, Priscilla Haden and Jenny Phillips, resigned over the dismissal and how it was handled.

The board hired James Phares as acting superintendent. He was sworn in last month.

The state Supreme Court last month said it wouldn't consider a petition filed on behalf of the parents of a special-needs child that challenged Marple's firing.

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