In mid-August, the high school principal released a statement to the media explaining why, after interviewing all of the candidates, “Coach James Justice was the obvious choice.” The letter highlighted his experience and success, and said those who had played for him had “expressed their astonishment at a man who works tirelessly, loves West Virginia and loves all children and kisses all players. , whatever their basketball talent. “
Meanwhile, Mr. Justice’s attorney sent a letter to the superintendent warning him of “legal action” if the board denies him the job despite qualifications that “overwhelm the other candidates.”
But at two school board meetings, several parents and residents as well as a player from the boys’ team, whose father was a candidate for the coaching post, spoke out against the judge’s appointment, saying that ‘they wanted someone who could give the team full attention. Some have questioned how the governor could devote his time to two teams as well as a Covid-19 plagued state, and expressed displeasure at the apparent answer: assistant coaches.
On August 23, the council voted, 3-2, to dismiss Mr. Justice.
“Anyone would feel some level of vacuum,” the governor said regretfully of the board’s decision, at the end of a press conference on the state’s Covid-19 crisis . He had coached more than two dozen seasons in school, he said, achieving “success beyond belief.” “There is no doubt,” he continued, “it is the worst of the worst from a children’s perspective.”
At the next council meeting in mid-September, a group of people showed up to congratulate Mr. Justice, reading letters of support for the governor and expressing bemusement as to why the council did not have him. not chosen. On the same day, the judge’s lawyer filed the formal grievance.
The grievance, which listed Mr Justice’s job title as “girls’ basketball coach”, argued that “failing to select a candidate who is by far the most qualified – whether out of personal animosity, opposition politics or any other reason – is arbitrary and capricious. ”The governor dragged the county school board before a judge.
An unusual week passed. The governor announced the winners of the ‘Do it for Babydog’ vaccination lottery, the number of known coronavirus infections in the state has reached new highs, and school board members have spoken to their lawyer. The lawyer who had filed a lawsuit against the unconstitutional governor’s residence in Greenbrier has announced that he plans to bring a new lawsuit. To some, it was both surprising and predictable that things had gone this far.