MCSD board’s pursuit of independent counsel takes surprise turn

Final month, the Muscogee County Faculty Board was on monitor to rent a well-known lawyer as its unbiased counsel for authorized recommendation on how the board’s controversial conduct may have an effect on the varsity district’s accreditation. Now, someone else shall be really helpful.

Chairwoman Pat Hugley Inexperienced of District 1 introduced in the course of the board’s month-to-month work session Monday night time that Glenn Brock gained’t be out there to offer this service to MCSD as a result of his mom was in a “critical accident.”

Brock is the associate within the Atlanta workplace of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough who was the MCSD board’s advisor for hiring its three most up-to-date superintendents.

Inexperienced as an alternative plans to advocate the board rent Charles E. Cox Jr., a self-employed lawyer in Macon. He has labored with faculty districts, together with MCSD, on “each side” of schooling worker points, Inexperienced stated, in addition to with the Georgia Affiliation of Educators, the Skilled Affiliation of Georgia Educators and native governments in Warner Robins and Spalding County.

District 5 consultant Laurie McRae stated she advised Cox to Inexperienced after two lawyer pals vouched for him. Inexperienced stated she gained’t know till later this week whether or not Cox can be obtainable, however she needs the board throughout its assembly subsequent Monday to vote on hiring him if he agrees.

Throughout a referred to as assembly July eleven, the board voted 5-2-1 to hunt an unbiased counsel. Voting sure have been Inexperienced, McRae, Naomi Buckner of District four, Mark Cantrell of District 6 and Cathy Williams of District 7. Voting no have been John Thomas of District 2 and Frank Myers of District eight. Vanessa Jackson of District three abstained. Vice chairwoman Kia Chambers, the 9-member board’s lone countywide consultant, was absent.

Neither Myers nor Thomas spoke about this situation throughout Monday’s work session. Afterward, the Ledger-Enquirer requested Thomas for his response to the change in Inexperienced’s suggestion. “It’s an unlucky state of affairs,” he stated. “My ideas exit to Mr. Brock and his household, and I hope that’s resolved. That being stated, I nonetheless assume that it’s a waste of time to even speak about spending cash on this. There’s nothing happening from any board members, no less than from me and Frank, that might have an effect on the varsity district’s accreditation.”

Listed within the consent agenda amongst seven suggestions for “sole supply and risky purchases,” the unbiased authorized counsel would value MCSD not more than $15,000.

“The preliminary scope of labor would come with however isn’t restricted to a session and evaluate to offer suggestions. Particular standards to help in accreditation issues:

▪ “Present an summary of conduct/conduct points which were cited towards faculty districts who’ve had accreditation points.

▪ “Give authorized opinion as to conduct of our board members which will violate code of conduct/ethics.

▪ “Give authorized opinion as to the consequences that such conduct might have on MCSD accreditation associated to the Board Governance Statement.”

Myers stated throughout a public discussion board final month that he or Thomas will make a movement for the varsity board to ask the GBI to research the Montravious Thomas and Roy Newman instances. Requested why such a movement isn’t on the board’s agenda this month, Thomas stated, “We’re engaged on that. We nonetheless have a plan to try this. … As quickly as we’ve got every thing arrange the best way need it, we’ll deliver ahead that movement.” However it gained’t be prepared in time for subsequent Monday’s assembly, Thomas added.

Montravious, then thirteen, is the scholar that contracted conduct specialist Bryant Mosley allegedly physique-slammed “a minimum of” 5 occasions whereas disciplining Montravious Sept. 12 within the various schooling AIM Program on the Edgewood Scholar Providers Middle, the place employees did not get him medical remedy and despatched him house on a bus, based on the $25 million lawsuit filed on Montravious’ behalf. His proper leg was amputated under the knee Oct. 18.

Newman is the MCSD bus driver who died when his alternative bus crashed right into a tree Aug. 22, injuring the seven college students on board.

MCSD board lawyer Greg Ellington really helpful in search of an unbiased counsel after Myers accused him in a June 22 e mail to the board of “deliberately deceptive the board” within the Montravious case, “and he additionally performed an element in orchestrating the delay in advising the board this occasion of Montravious being injured had even occurred,” Myers wrote.

In an e mail to the board earlier that day, Ellington wrote that Myers providing opposing counsel “related details” with out sharing that info with the board’s counsel is improper as a result of “that privilege belongs to the Board and District as an entire and can’t be waived by any particular person board member.”

Myers countered in his e mail to the board that “no privilege is absolute. If there’s underlying fraud and/or felony exercise concerned – as I consider is the case right here – NO privilege would apply, and positively not the lawyer-shopper privilege Mr. Ellington seeks to invoke to guard his personal self pursuits, fellow legal professionals and the pursuits of the Superintendent.”

Ellington informed the board throughout its July eleven assembly that Myers’ criticisms of him and his agency are “utterly unfounded and baseless.” He is perhaps “a reality witness” to those allegations, Ellington stated, so “I don’t assume you ought to be listening to from me about these points as a result of I’m, to some extent, whether or not I prefer it or not, in the midst of it.”

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