Attorney General asked to review School Board actions - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Attorney General asked to review School Board actions

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards wrote the State Attorney General a letter asking him to investigate the Dougherty County School Board.

The Dougherty County Taxpayers Association also asked Thurbert Baker to look into the board's selection of a new superintendent. Friday afternoon, that group also started the process to recall four school board members.

In the two letters, District Attorney Greg Edwards asks the Attorney Generals office to contact all seven Dougherty County School Board member, their attorney, and current Superintendent Dr. Sally Whatley. The Dougherty County Taxpayer Association letter says the board ignored warnings from their own attorney. They've also sent a copy of their letter to Governor Sonny Perdue.

In District Attorney Greg Edwards letter he claims Dougherty County School Board has caused intense public friction and controversy in the community. 

Friday he recused himself from the process, but not before asking Thurbert Baker to investigate.

"I must recuse myself completely from this case, I'm connected with everyone involved at some level and even the named finalist," said Edwards.

Edwards wouldn't give his opinion on the matter, but said state law gives the Attorney General jurisdiction.

"I think there's some questions that involves the interpretation of the statue and perhaps some facts surrounding it," said Edwards.

The Dougherty County Taxpayer Association has also sent Baker a letter urging an investigation and today met late Friday afternoon to begin the process to recall Dr. Anita Williams Brown, James Bush, Milton Griffin, and Velvet Riggins, but say they'll need the community's help.

"They have to get involved they have to be registered voters and they have to sign these petitions for us, it's a very involved process," said Dougherty County Taxpayer Association spokesman Richard Thomas.

Board members James Bush and David Maschke told us they couldn't comment on the lawsuit because of the legal action. The board's regular meeting is Monday night and a long executive session is expected, but taxpayers aren't convinced anything will change.

"If they can deny the public two times, not once but twice, deny their own attorney's advice then it's unlikely they'll change their posture at a meeting Monday," said Thomas.

Board attorney Tommy Coleman says he'll also be forced to recuse himself since he already advised the board their actions potentially violated the Open Records Act.

The Dougherty County Taxpayers Association is setting up a committee to work through the recall process. They'll release more information late next week about where petitions to recall the four board members will be available to sign.

The School Board will meet Monday night at 6:30 PM. The meeting will be held at the Albany Civil Rights Institute because of a conflict at the School Administration Building.

Click here to views District Attorney Greg Edwards letter:  http://files.walb.com/gregletter.pdf


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