Motion filed in water board case

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

Another motion was filed in Dallas County Circuit Court Monday in an effort to end a six-month-long debate about who should sit on the Selma Water & Sewer Board.

Collins Pettaway Jr., attorney for the water board, said he filed the motion after Judge Tommy Jones made a ruling in June that &8220;said we didn’t have a standing. He said we should file an ethics complaint.

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During a Selma City Council meeting held Jan. 22, Dr. Geraldine Allen was appointed to the water board by a 5-3 vote over Samuel Randolph, who had served on the board since 2000. Randolph’s term had expired.

The vote sparked a controversy over whether the appointment was legitimate, since Allen voted for herself.

Randolph did not cast a vote for himself.

An injunction was filed in February in Dallas County Circuit Court on behalf of the Selma Water & Sewer Board seeking to keep both council members from attending water board meetings until the issue was resolved.

On June 27, 2007, Circuit Judge Tommy Jones ruled that the water board &8220;lacks standing because it has failed to show the existence of a justiciable controversy.&8221;

Allen attended a special called meeting of the water board Friday, but was asked to leave during an executive session.

An affidavit by water board chairman Johnnie Leashore was filed Monday along with the motion for reconsideration.

Leashore stated in the affidavit that during the Friday meeting, he asked both Allen and Randolph to leave when the board went into executive session. &8220;Councilwoman Allen’s reply was that she is an official board member and that she would not leave the board room. My response to her was that there were two people present at the meeting, both she and Councilman Sam Randolph claiming to be board members, and therefore, the chair would not recognize either of them.&8221;

Allen said in a previous interview that she left and called her attorney, who informed her she was a rightful board member.

In Leashore’s affidavit, he stated, &8220;the meeting became very disruptive by Mrs. Allen’s insistence on remaining in the executive session.&8221;

According to Leashore’s statement, &8220;At this point, Randolph adhered to my request and left the room, but he made it perfectly clear to the board, and all present, that he was leaving under protest, and he left.&8221;

Allen remained in the meeting.

Allen said in a previous interview that Leashore asked a police officer to escort her from the meeting.

Leashore disputes that in the affidavit, stating, &8220;with no direct action being announced or requested by the chair for police intervention, Councilwoman Allen stated, in a loud outburst to the police officer present, &8216;My attorney said, if you touch me, he will file suit against the water board.’&8221;

Friday’s meeting ended with the water board voting 3-1 to give Pettaway authority to seek relief &8220;from this dilemma confronting the board by any legal action necessary.&8221;

Leashore, along with board members Bennie Ruth Crenshaw and Aubrey Vick, voted in favor of the motion. The Rev. Lee Goodwin cast the &8220;no&8221; vote.