- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—The Charleston attorney representing ousted state schools superintendent Jorea Marple in a lawsuit against the West Virginia Board of Education has apologized for comments he made in the Sunday Gazette-Mail about attorneys representing the board.

Timothy Barber said in a written statement Monday, titled “public apology,” that his remarks about the firm were inappropriate.

“For any harm done to those attorneys by my remark, I sincerely apologize and retract any facet of the unfortunate verbiage,” Barber wrote. He also sent a copy of the statement to the firm Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown & Poe.

Barber said to a Gazette-Mail reporter last week that the board’s attorneys were “a bunch of f–ing crooks” after they refused to recant statements that Marple’s lawsuit is wasting taxpayer money.

Attorney Victor Flanagan, who represents the board, told the Gazette-Mail he planned to file a complaint with the West Virginia State Bar’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel and submit a request Barber be sanctioned in Kanawha Circuit Court.

“Barber has refused to cooperate with counsel in any regard, and in doing so has used profanity with counsel, has screamed at counsel on numerous occasions, and has berated staff members of Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown & Poe by telephone,” states the request in court for sanctions, which seeks to prohibit Barber from engaging in similar conduct and contacting the law firm, except in writing.

Flanagan also represents individual board member Wade Linger. In her lawsuit, Marple accuses Linger, who was then the board’s president, of leading a “covert agenda” to fire her in 2012.

Circuit Judge James Stucky has ruled that the state “clearly has and will incur expenses and costs in defending against this lawsuit.”

Marple’s lawyers argued that the Board of Risk and Insurance Management has paid and will pay all charges in the case through insurance coverage of the board, so the idea that the state is paying is an “utter fiction” to provide “the media with material for publicity and editorial comment.”

Barber also said in his public apology that the law firm representing the board, “is populated by lawyers of the highest quality who advance their clients’ interests with vigor and professionalism. My remark has no home in that firm or in any other setting of the adversary litigation process no matter the level of contention.”

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(c)2015 The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, W.Va.)

Visit The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, W.Va.) at www.wvgazette.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Topics: t000002776,t000166569


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