W.Va. high court upholds dismissal of suit against Preston County Schools 212

KINGWOOD — The State Supreme Court has upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed against Preston County Schools by an employee.

Joseph R. Ragione sued the Preston County Board of Education in Preston Circuit Court in 2016. As previously reported, he said the school system paid him $11,000 less annually in his position as a mechanic than promised.

Ragione said he signed a contract in 2013 to be paid $34,695.50 annually. In 2014, Ragione was notified his salary would be cut about $11,000, because the board decided it would not count his 29 years experience in the private sector.

Preston Circuit Judge Lawrance Miller Jr. dismissed the lawsuit, noting Ragione had skipped a step by not appealing an administrative law judge’s denial of his claim at a Level 3 hearing by the West Virginia Public Employees Grievance Board. Instead, Ragione filed suit in circuit court.

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