Published: Thu, March 15, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

West Virginia governor fires education secretary, wife of US Sen Joe Manchin


West Virginia Governor Jim Justice has announced an appointment to fill the vacant position as the Secretary for the Department of Education and the Arts.

The controversy arises as the governor contemplates whether to sign or veto H.B.

The statement released by Gayle Manchin said the legislation passed by the Republican-led legislature was "reckless and politically motivated", Politico reported. The department, contrary to its name, is not responsible for overseeing the state's K-12 educational institutions but rather focuses on preserving and reinforcing the state's cultural heritage. The agencies and programs affected include the Center for Professional Development, the Division of Culture and History, the Division of Rehabilitation Services, Energy Express, the Governor's Schools, Special Olympics and Volunteer West Virginia. The secretary was told to do nothing since the governor had not made a final decision on the fate of her department.

The legislation would reportedly transfer Gayle Manchin's offices and programs to other state agencies.

"It's obvious that there aren't any significant financial saving here", Manchin said.

Butch Antolini, the governor's director of communications, said the office has not yet received the bill from the Legislature.

"I like Gayle Manchin so I don't know why anyone thinks - I realize that's kind of a, probably an odd thing for a Republican to say - but I've had conversations with her". "We need to get the politics out of this".

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Manchin said said her offer to resign was contingent on Justice protecting the department. In her press release she offered to resign and remove any political cloud.

Hall told her the governor was still thinking over his decision, adding he had 15 days to decide, which dismayed Manchin further, she said. "Later in the day, she made a decision to defy the Chief of Staff's instructions and issued a press release".

When asked for clarification on what she meant by political pressure, Manchin said "the whole premise of the bill from the beginning was to move the professional development program from the Center for Professional Development, under me, to the Dept. of Education". As of Tuesday evening, Gov. Justice was still weighing action on the legislation. "I mean once money is frozen, or they start taking - federal money starts going back - it's very hard to reclaim that", Manchin said.

Manchin's termination came about a week after Justice agreed to a 5 percent pay raise to end a nine-day teacher's strike in the state, USA Today reported.

"She was told that we accepted her resignation, she refused, and we terminated her", Justice added. Efforts to eliminate the department pre-date Manchin's tenure atop the organization.

The dismissal comes after Manchin - the wife of Sen.

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