CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The wrongful-termination lawsuit filed earlier this year by former state Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple has been put on hold until a federal judge decides whether to send it back to state court.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston entered an order Tuesday staying proceedings in the case.
Marple sued the state Board of Education in Kanawha County 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 school board had the case moved to federal court, arguing that Marple alleged her federal due process rights were violated.
In April, Marple filed to dismiss the case from the U.S. District Court to focus more on the Board of Education's violation of West Virginia law.
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 were revealed to Marple, the full membership of the board or the public, as required by law, according to the complaint.
Among other things, the order means that attorneys won't have to abide by dates that had already been set by the court for discovery until Johnston rules, according to Marple's attorney, Tim Barber.