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Board terminates Crawford

By Staff | Nov 26, 2014

The Tyler County Board of Education voted unanimously Monday to terminate the employment of Gina Crawford, a fifth grade teacher at Sistersville Elementary School who had pleaded guilty to a drug charge.

The move came during a special session at 4 p.m. Monday at the board office at 114 Dodd St., Middlebourne. The special meeting was called to discuss the recommendation of Duane Dober, director of human resources for Tyler County Schools, regarding the unpaid suspension, termination, and future employment of Crawford.

She was arrested on July 24 at her residence in Sistersville, along with her live-in boyfriend Jason Britton, and both were charged with felony offenses of possession of controlled substance with intent to deliver. They both were placed on $10,000 bond and taken to the North Central Regional Jail where they were later released. According to Sistersville Police reports marijuana, prescription pills, money, and drug paraphernalia were all confiscated.

Tyler County Prosecutor Luke Furbee was recused from the case by the Honorable Judge Mark A. Karl due to a potential conflict and the case was then assigned to Pleasants County Prosecutor Carl Bryant. At some point the felony charges were dismissed and the charges were refiled as misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Crawford pleaded guilty to the charge and was given a deferred sentence and placed on six months unsupervised probation

Shortly after Monday’s meeting was called to order by board President Bonnie Henthorn, board member P.J. Wells made a motion to enter executive session, the motion was unanimously approved by the board.

The board entered into executive session at 4:03 p.m. and after close to two hours behind closed doors, the board returned at 5:54 p.m. A small group of nearly 30 concerned teachers, citizens, and parents were called back into the meeting to hear the decision of the board.

Upon returning, Dober announced his recommendation. “I recommend that the Tyler County Board of Education ratify the suspension without pay issued to Mrs. Crawford, effective Monday, Nov. 17, 2014. Furthermore, I recommend that Mrs. Crawford’s contract with the Tyler County Board of Education be terminated effective immediately.”

Board Member Jimmy Wyatt said, “I move that we accept the recommendation and terminate the contract.”

Wells seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously. With no more business on the agenda, the board adjourned.

The next regular meeting of the board will be held on Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. in the Board of Education offices.