CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A tentative trial date has been set in federal court for former state schools superintendent Jorea Marple's lawsuit over her firing.
If U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston refuses to send the case back to state court, parties should be ready for trial by April 7, 2014, according to federal court documents. The schedule also states mediation in the case should be held on or before Feb. 14.
Marple has filed to dismiss the case from U.S. District Court in order to focus on the state Board of Education's alleged violation of West Virginia law, her attorney has said.
Marple sued the state school board in Kanawha Circuit Court in February, claiming that she was unlawfully fired three months earlier and that members of the board "contrived in secret" to oust her.
The state school board had the case moved to federal court, arguing that Marple alleged her federal due-process rights were violated.
The lawsuit alleges that although Marple served as a "will and pleasure" employee of a state-governed board, board members violated her rights and caused irreparable damage to her reputation and the ability to gain future employment, in addition to mental anguish.
Marple also alleges in the suit that state board President Wade Linger began an agenda nine months before she was fired to replace her and contacted various board members about the plan. None of those efforts was revealed to Marple, the full membership of the board or the public, as required by law, according to the complaint.