January 6, 2000
We met today with Dr. Henry Marockie, State Superintendent of Schools, regarding the controversy surrounding his expenses.
After thoroughly discussing and reviewing the facts of this matter with Dr. Marockie and his attorney, Mr. Rudy DiTrapano, we have no reason to believe that the State Department of Education or the West Virginia Education Alliance paid or reimbursed Dr. Marockie's personal housing expenditures or his country club dues. This week, the Superintendent assembled canceled checks to prove his claim that he –- and he alone –- paid for these expenses. Dr. Marockie submitted these checks to his attorney and they have assured us that they will cooperate fully with any formal investigation of this matter.
The West Virginia Board of Education will continue to monitor and cooperate with these investigations. At this point, however, we do not have any reason to believe that the State Superintendent used state funds or funds provided by the Education Alliance inappropriately.
For the past three weeks, the Board has monitored this situation and is prepared to take appropriate action if warranted. During this entire controversy, Dr. Marockie has continued to keep Board President Cleo Mathews and other members of the Board informed on an almost daily basis.
Dr. Marockie has done an outstanding job of raising expectations for West Virginia's schools during his 10-year tenure as State Superintendent. We are deeply saddened if recent allegations and insinuations have cast a shadow on the Mountain State and this Superintendent's exemplary record of service to West Virginia's students.
This Board takes its sworn obligation to all West Virginia citizens very seriously. The Board also realizes that a person's reputation and career are too important to damage based on unproven allegations and speculation.