Justice Fires Secretary for Refusing to Baby-Sit; NOW Demands He Quit

Associated Press

Members of the National Organization for Women called Wednesday for the resignation of state Supreme Court Chief Justice Richard Neely, who fired his secretary for refusing to baby-sit his son.

“No words can capture our anger,” said NOW official Betty Justice. “He has by his words and his actions shown that he is the No. 1 lawbreaker in West Virginia.” She charged that Neely had violated state sex discrimination laws.

About 25 demonstators gathered on the Capitol steps leading to the Supreme Court’s chambers. They carried signs demanding child care for all state employees and accusing Neely of “supreme arrogance.”

A spokesman for Neely said the justice had no intention of resigning.


Neely said earlier this week that he was firing his 59-year-old secretary because she no longer wanted to baby-sit his 5-year-old son. Neely said his staff serves at his “will and pleasure” because of his schedule. He said he asked Dineen to baby-sit only when he was away on state business.

Dineen, who makes $23,000 a year, said Neely’s baby-sitting demands “got to be too much"--eight consecutive days in May and off and on for three weeks since. She said watching 5-year-old John, either at Neely’s home or her own, was affecting her health.