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W.Va. education official fired amid Va. probe

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Schools Superintendent Michael Martirano’s first major administrative hire lasted four days on the job, after Department of Education officials learned that the office’s new executive director is being investigated for allegedly misusing state funds at a similar post in Virginia.

On Dec. 4, Tammy McGraw was fired from her job as executive director of the West Virginia department’s instructional technology division. Just days earlier, Martirano, state school board members and other high-ranking department officials received an anonymous letter that listed details about the Virginia investigation.

McGraw’s lawyer said her former co-workers at the Virginia Department of Education fabricated the allegations.

“This is a character assassination,” said John Wooton, a Beckley lawyer and former member of the West Virginia School Building Authority. “That letter was written solely to tortuously interfere with her employment.”

Martirano and department officials never contacted the Virginia education department about McGraw, Virginia school officials said.

McGraw, a Beckley native, resigned under pressure from her job as technology director at the Virginia Department of Education on Nov. 6, after she was suspended with pay in September. The Virginia State Office of Inspector General has been investigating McGraw for months. Investigators seized McGraw’s computer and thousands of documents…

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