Murfree departure "mutual" - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Murfree departure "mutual"

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

It will cost Dougherty County taxpayers $73,000 to pay off outgoing school superintendent Joshua Murfree. The board voted to terminate Murfree's current contract today and sign a new one that calls for him to leave his job in one month. But he'll still be paid through June.

Only four members agreed to sign the new 13-page agreement between Joshua Murfree and Dougherty County School board members, but it's enough to release Murfree- six months before his contract was up.

Dougherty County School Superintendent Joshua Murfree had little to say as he calmly, but swiftly left Wednesday's school board meeting, declining to do an interview.

Murfree and the school board reached a mutual agreement, that his last day will be December 18th. His three year contract was set to expire June 7th.

"However, pursuant to the terms of his original contract, they have agreed to pay him through the remainder of that contract which is June 2nd," said board attorney Tommy Coleman.

School board members have been discussing Murfree's contract behind closed doors for months. But they say it was Murfree who presented them with this new agreement.

"I think that the board and Dr. Murfree did a good job being frank with each other and coming to a mutual agreement that was well thought out and makes sense for the school system and the community," said board member David Maschke.

"The superintendent's leaving is a mutual agreement, he was not asked to resign, he was not asked to leave. This is a mutual agreement, with all parties," said board member Darrel Ealum.

The board approved this new agreement with a four to three vote. Velvet Riggins, Anita Williams-Brown and Milton Griffin were opposed.  

Nearly every school board member declined to comment.  A special called board meeting will be held to iron out the steps to hire a new superintendent.

An interim superintendent may be chosen before a permanent replacement is named.

Copyright 2012 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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