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W.Va. school board seat vacant 18 months

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A seat on one of the state’s most influential boards has been vacant for more than a year, and there is no timetable for when Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will appoint someone to fill it.

The 12-member state Board of Education has been one member short since Priscilla Haden resigned in December 2012 after the unexpected firing of Superintendent Jorea Marple.

Jenny Phillips also resigned, but her seat was promptly filled when Tomblin appointed Tina Combs, executive director of the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce.

The board is left waiting for a replacement for Haden because state code requires Tomblin to make appointments to state boards and agencies.

It’s not the only state agency with an unfilled seat though. Chris Stadelman, Tomblin’s spokesman, said 11 percent of board seats that the governor is in charge of appointing are vacant.

High-profile boards with current vacancies include the Consolidated Public Retirement Board, the Housing Development Fund, the Jobs Investment Trust, the Regional Jail Authority and the Library Commission…

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