Former Warren school board members sue

Two Warren County citizens have filed a lawsuit in support of school board members who were removed from office last year by then-Gov. Sonny Perdue. The plaintiffs, Emily Massey and Willie Foster Moss have filed a lawsuit against members of the Warren County Board of Education, Warren County School Superintendent Carole Jean Carey and the Warren County Elections Superintendent Janice Thigpen.

School Superintendent Carol Jean Carey said she received the papers Tuesday.

She said she was confident Warren County acted properly.

Carey said she notified the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Achievement of the lawsuit, which approved the steps being taken by the school system.

 "This system immediately proceeded under the direction of lawyers and judges,"Carey said

 

Bryan Watkins, who filed the lawsuit for Charles Culver and Cecil Brown, said local legislation requires a special election to fill seats that are vacated more than 90 days before the original person's term ends. Watkins said Culver and Brown were removed from office in early August, and their terms were not slated to end until 2012. Carolyn Martin and Patricia Hambsch were appointed to the seats later in August of 2010 by other members of the school board.

"We are confident that we followed every step of the law," Thigpen said.

 

Watkins said he contacted both the school system and the elections office to see if a special election would be held, and never heard back.

 

"The citizens of Warren County have a right to elect who is going to represent them," he said, adding that both parties have 21 days to respond to the lawsuit notice.

 

The third member removed from office last year was not invovled in the suit. Clara Roberts' term ended in 2010, and she was on the ballot and ran again, but lost the election to Sandy Yelton.

 

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