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Gayle Manchin terminated from West Virginia state role

Gayle Manchin has been fired from her position as the secretary of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts.

The dismissal comes after Manchin - the wife of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) - released a statement asking for West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) to save the agency, Politico reported.

Justice had been considering signing a bill that would close the agency.

In a press release, Justice - who was previously a Democrat and became a member of the Republican Party last year - said that Gayle Manchin had released a press release on the issue despite being instructed not to.

"In her press release she offered to resign and remove any political cloud. 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," he said.

"She was told that we accepted her resignation, she refused, and we terminated her." 

Justice said in the statement the state is continuing to examine the legislation "looking for cost savings, how to preserve and promote the arts, and to make absolutely, positively certain that none of the programs or our citizens will be harmed in any way."

"And we will continue to do exactly that," he said.

The statement released by Gayle Manchin said the legislation passed by the Republican-led legislature was "reckless and politically motivated," Politico reported.

"I do not believe that a partisan fight is in the best interest of West Virginia. In fact, I know that signing this legislation will hurt our children, seniors, veterans, the disabled, and disaster response training. In addition, it eliminates a statewide advocacy for the arts," she said, according to the news outlet.

"I want to sit down with the Governor, and if it helps, I'll resign to remove any political pressure to save all of these important programs for West Virginians."

The legislation would reportedly transfer Gayle Manchin's offices and programs to other state agencies.

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