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Jury sides with GW principal, Kanawha board in defamation case

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Jury sides with GW principal, Kanawha board in defamation case
Lacie Pierson , Charleston Gazette-Mail

A 6-person jury determined Friday that a George Washington High School counselor didn’t suffer any damage to her reputation or privacy in a series of incidents stemming from the sexual assault of a student during the 2014-15 school year.

It took members of the jury about 40 minutes to determine GW Principal George Aulenbacher sent an email in March 2015 about GW Counselor Mary “Kackie” Eller’s job performance to faculty and staff at the school, but they determined the information in the email was truthful and therefore didn’t meet the standard of being defamatory against Eller. They also determined that Eller’s reputation was not affected by a suspension from her job in beginning in February 2015, when she was under investigation by school district officials for not reporting the sexual assault of a student to law enforcement.

The jury members also determined that while Eller might have been portrayed in a false light or her privacy was compromised by the email, they determined Aulenbacher was not being reckless or sharing any information about her that he knew to be false when he sent the note.

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