Decision will have to wait

Published 11:53pm Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A decision on whether or not the Selma City School Board violated Alabama’s Open Meetings Act last October will have to wait for now.

During a Tuesday hearing, Circuit Courth Judge Jack Meigs granted former superintendent Dr. Donald Jefferson’s attorney Terry Davis three weeks to submit a brief.

When his brief is submitted, the Selma City School Board’s attorney, Spud Seale, will have two weeks to submit a brief of his own. After both briefs are submitted, Meigs will reveal his decision, though there is no timeline for him to do so.

Following Tuesday’s testimony, Davis said he felt confident he had proven the Oct. 25 and 26 meeting was not conducted within the law because board vice president Brenda Obomanu did not have the authority to continue after president Henry Hicks declared the 5:30 p.m. called meeting adjourned.

“We feel good about the case,” he said. “We think some good testimony came out that supports Dr. Jefferson. Now the judge has given us the opportunity to write briefs on the strong points that we feel are going to carry us through.”

During questioning, Davis repeatedly questioned Obomanu on her decision to sign the letter of termination on Oct. 14 — the day after Jefferson was removed from office — and her decision to conduct the Oct. 25 meeting after Hicks left.

Obomanu said she was just doing what she felt she felt was her job description.

“All I know is attorney (Katie) Campbell said I needed to sign the letter,” Obomanu said. “I was put on the spot (at the meeting) because Mr. Hicks walked out on the meeting. I did the best I could.”

Prior to the Oct. 13 meeting, Obomanu said she had no knowledge that fellow board member Frank Chestnut Jr. would call for Jefferson’s termination. Chestnut affirmed Obomanu’s claims during his testimony.

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