Gayle Manchin, the wife of Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and secretary of West Virginia’s department of education and the arts was fired by Republican Gov. Jim Justice Monday.
Amid a looming budget deficit, the state legislature last month decided to shutter the state’s department of education and the arts. The department is seperate from the state’s education department and advisory in nature. That proposal has not yet been signed by Justice.
In response, to the legislature, Manchin, who has led the department for the last year, had offered her resignation to “remove any political pressure” and potentially save the department from being axed.
But on Monday night, Justice said in a news release that when he accepted her resignation, “she refused, and we terminated her.”
Justice said Manchin defied his chief of staff’s advice to wait to see how the governor would handle the legislature’s proposal.
“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,” Justice said in the news release.
Manchin was appointed to the position by Justice. The current superintendent of the state’s department of education is Steven Paine.
The state’s teachers last week ended a weeks-long strike that forced the legislature to give the teachers a 5 percent pay raise.
A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.