Governor Justice fires Cabinet Secretary Gayle Manchin

Governor Justice fires Cabinet Secretary Gayle Manchin

Governor Justice fires Cabinet Secretary Gayle Manchin

Gayle Manchin has been fired from her position as the secretary of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts. The Center for Professional Development would be moved under the Department of Education.

The dismissal comes after Manchin - the wife of Sen. "I think the Republicans of this state believe everybody in a position like this should be a Republican". "In her press release she offered to resign and remove any political cloud", Justice stated.

Manchin also asked the governor to veto the bill. "If there weren't any earlier political cloud, now there surely is one. She was very critical, made it political, and put me in a very, very bad position", he said.

Justice said in the statement the state is continuing to examine the legislation "looking for cost savings, how to preserve and promote the arts, and to make absolutely, positively certain that none of the programs or our citizens will be harmed in any way".

The bill would eliminate the secretary's position, which pays $95,000 a year. The Gazette-Mail received Gayle Manchin's news release late Monday afternoon. "She was told by the Chief of Staff to do nothing based upon my public comments this morning and that my decision to veto or sign this bill had not been made".

"I call on the governor to veto this reckless and politically motivated legislation that the state Legislature passed, or work with me to dissolve this agency, if that's what he wants to do, in a responsible and compassionate way". "People are scared. These aren't programs. These are people and people's lives".

According to a statement released by the governor's office, Manchin approached Justice's chief of staff on Monday to inquire how she should respond to the legislation. "I'm not going to put my agencies and my programs through this, so I sent the press release".

Manchin, a former First Lady of West Virginia, proceeded to ignore the directive by issuing a press release denouncing the alleged political motives behind the legislature's decision to defund her agency.

"I said I've not had a conversation with the governor since he interviewed me for this job and appointed me", she said.

"I'm sorry - I have a husband who was governor. Generally when the chief of staff calls you take the call and you give some kind of an answer or you reach out". "If I just resign, they would say, 'We'll just dissolve the department, ' and so, still, you're going to have the same thing". "And we will continue to do exactly that".

One factor in that is whether the programs housed in Education and the Arts could be transferred by the time the bill's July 1 effective dates go into effect.

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Another is how the changes might affect federal funding.

Manchin spoke of the delicacy of the Division of Rehabilitation Services, which employs hundreds and serves thousands.

Every day there is a delay on the status of the programs, Manchin said, funding is at risk.

"You're talking about dismantling a cabinet", Manchin said. "Wouldn't you think the governor's office, someone on his staff, might say maybe we should look at what the ramifications are".

Manchin said the Department of Education already has responsibility for 700 schools and 300,000 students.

"It would put the same thing back in motion, there would be no cabinet secretary so they would just dissolve everything, so that really doesn't solve everything", she said.

On Saturday, lawmakers passed a bill to dismantle the Department of Education and the Arts.

"From our perspective this has never been about the secretary. I've always been an advocate for the arts", she said.

"These are programs I've worked with all my life".

"It's been a privilege to serve in this position".

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