COLUMBUS, Ga. – A Muscogee County School Board member is frustrated after a request to add a vote one next week’s agenda on whether to keep the school board’s law firm failed. The request comes following the news that the GBI is investigating a $550,000 settlement after a 2015 crash involving a motor squad officer and a school bus.
Officer William Green crashed his motorcycle after swerving to avoid a school bus that turned in front of him in November of 2015. A lawsuit against the school district was dismissed in November and the officer received a $550,000 settlement.
The GBI is now looking into the legality of how that settlement was paid out. The Muscogee County School District’s Attorney Greg Ellington says the settlement was fully paid by the district’s liability coverage provider and not the district, which does not require board approval.
Muscogee County School Board member Frank Myers, with support from John Thomas, made a request to vote on firing the school board’s law firm.
“The custom and specific policy that the board makes this decision about legal counsel at the beginning of every year,” he said.
Muscogee County School Board member Cathy Williams says that is not the responsibility of the board.
“It is our responsibility to oversee the hiring and firing, but it comes from the superintendent, the one person we actually hire is that superintendent and then we empower that superintendent to make recommendations to us,” she said.
Williams says recommendations come based on the superintendent’s knowledge of who they think would be the best in the classroom and administration.
“Absent from the superintendent that there be a change, then there really was no reason for it,” she said.
Myers did not receive enough support at Monday night’s work session to put the matter to a vote next week.
“The lawyers and the administration are under criminal investigation by the GBI so, for some reason which, I think we know what the reason is, they didn’t want to discuss the status of the lawyers publicly,” Myers said.
Next week’s meeting will be held on Tuesday since Monday is a holiday.