WV Supreme Court upholds dismissal of defamation case

The West Virginia Supreme Court on Friday released a decision upholding the dismissal of former Capital High principal Clinton Giles’ defamation and “false light invasion of privacy” lawsuit against the Kanawha County Board of Education.

Only Justices Allen Loughry, Menis Ketchum and Beth Walker participated in the memorandum decision. Much of the case focused on comments that school board member Pete Thaw, who died last week, made about Giles on Feb. 9, 2015.

On that date, the board accepted Giles’ retirement, which he gave notice for the day he was charged with a misdemeanor for failing to immediately report an alleged sexual assault of one student by another at his school. Speaking to reporters for several outlets right after that board meeting, Thaw called Giles “insubordinate.”

“He ought to resign because, frankly, you cannot have an environment where the children are not safe,” Thaw said. “When you have rape, I would think that you would run to the phone and report it.”

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