Wirt County teacher under investigation resigns

ELIZABETH -A Wirt County teacher and coach has resigned from the school system amid an investigation by the sheriff’s department.

Math teacher and girls’ high school basketball coach Lijiah Heiney submitted his resignation to the Wirt County Board of Education Tuesday night. Wirt County Schools Superintendent Dan Metz said Heiney’s resignation was submitted to officials through his attorney, Berkeley Simmons. Heiney was not present. He’s under investigation by the sheriff’s department for a possible inappropriate relationship involving a student. Wirt County Sheriff Keith Wilson said the matter is still under investigation.

The person who answered the phone at Simmons’ law office Wednesday said the attorney was “unable to discuss the matter.”

Board members were slated to meet in executive session Tuesday regarding a personnel suspension hearing. Metz said since Heiney submitted his resignation there was no need for a hearing.

“So there was no executive (personnel) session,” Metz said. “He has resigned and is no longer our employee.”

Heiney, a 1995 graduate of Calhoun County High School, was hired as the Wirt County girls’ high school basketball coach in 2009. He’d previously served as middle school coach.

Metz said school officials were notified about two weeks ago by law enforcement officials of an investigation surrounding Heiney.

“At that time I met with the employee and his legal counsel and we moved forward with whatever action we needed to do,” Metz said. School system officials intend to pursue additional sanctions against Heiney, Metz said.

“We have every intention of asking the state superintendent to revoke his certificate to teach.”

Teaching certificates are licensed and governed by the state board of education and the state department of education.