WVU lawyer wants out of degree-scandal lawsuit
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- The former academic integrity officer at West Virginia University says a judge should dismiss her from a lawsuit over a 6-year-old master's degree scandal.
Attorney Marjorie McDiarmid calls the latest complaint by two former business school deans caught up in a 2007 scandal involving a former governor's daughter a "cut and paste job" that raises no new issues.
Former dean Stephen Sears and former associate dean Cyril Logar say WVU has ignored its obligation to repair their tarnished reputations since an academic-misconduct investigation ended. They accuse WVU of breach of contract and denial of their due-process rights.
But McDiarmid argues in a motion in U.S. District Court that if anyone had a contract with them, it wasn't her, so it's "silly" to sue her. She also argues the complaint is so vague it's impossible to determine what she allegedly did wrong.
WVU hasn't commented on the case. It has until June 26 to respond.
McDiarmid argues there are no grounds for a claim against her, and she's demanding the plaintiffs pay her legal fees.
They "have sued or attempted to sue her three times in two different courts over a period of more than four years" over the same situation, the motion says, and all failed. The new claims are "the very definition of vexation, frivolous, unreasonable and without foundation."
Last summer, WVU said there would be no further action against anyone involved in altering transcripts, creating grades and awarding an executive master of business administration degree to Heather Bresch.
She's the chief executive officer of Pennsylvania-based generic drug maker Mylan Inc. and the daughter of former governor and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
An independent investigation found that administrators added courses and grades to her transcript. The investigators ruled that Sears, Logar and others "showed seriously flawed judgment."