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Monday, June 3, 2013 - 12:16pm

Court Reviews School Board Removals

Georgia’s highest court will rule on the constitutionality of a 2010 state law. It gives Gov. Nathan Deal power to suspend school board members.

The case involves Eugene Walker, a DeKalb County school board member. Deal suspended Walker along with five others in February. That decision came after a private agency placed DeKalb on probation, jeopardizing of its accreditation.

Walker’s attorney, Thomas Cox, contends the grounds for suspension were arbitrary.

“It has to be objective. It has to be uniform. It has to be clear and knowable, and it has to be has to be applied on an individual basis. What this statute does doesn’t meet any those criteria,” he told the judges.

Stefan Ritter is the state’s Senior Assistant Attorney General. He says the criteria are “clear enough.”

“If there is some kind of conduct, even if it’s merely negligent conduct, that would lead to the potential loss of accreditation, that is sufficient. It doesn’t have to be proof of wrongful conduct on the part of the school board member.”

The Supreme Court will decide the case by the end of November.