Bates delivers resolution to DCBOE

Published 2:55 pm Monday, September 17, 2018

Dallas County School Board of Education (DCBOE) member Carolyn Bates delivered a resolution to the board at their meeting on Thursday, Sept. 13.

The resolution Bates presented regarded a case that she claims was a request for action against her from the board on July 6, 2017.

According to the resolution that was signed on July 6, 2017, that spoke about the action against Bates, the Department of Examiners of Public Accountants issued a report on the Dallas County Board of Education on June 30, 2017, covering the period of Oct. 1, 2015, through Sept. 30, 2016.

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“… whereby the Examiners included a finding (2016-001) that a board member, to-wit: Carolyn Bates, elected to represent DCBOE School District 3, failed to comply with residence requirements for county board members, as set out in Code of Alabama 1975, Section 16-8-1(b),” according to the resolution. “Whereas, such finding, if factual and correct, would create a vacancy for DCBOE’s School District 3, as vacancy is created whenever a board member of a county board of education moves his or her domicile from the district he or she represents.

“Whereas in the course of addressing the issue of the board member’s residency, additional information has come to light that has caused the DCBOE to further question whether the board member indeed resides in the district she represents,” according to the resolution. “Whereas, the DCBOE, by majority vote, has accepted the finding of the examiners, to the extent that it believes said board member is not compliant with state residency requirements for county board members … upon accepting the Examiners’ finding insofar as described, the DCBOE wishes to move forward, in accordance with State law, by filling the seat it believes to be vacant … the board member in controversy has indicated she will not resign from the seat, as she asserts she is lawfully serving as the representative for School District 3.

“As long as said member holds the seat in controversy, the DCBOE is prevented from peaceably appointing a new member to fill said vacancy,” according to the resolution. “The State of Alabama has authority under Code of Alabama 1975, Section 6-6-591(a), to commence an action against any person allegedly unlawfully holding public office and the DCBOE therefore believes it to be the best interest of the district to turn this matter over to the State of Alabama, via the local District Attorney’s Office, for further investigation and proceedings.”

The resolution also states that the board requested the District Attorney require Bates to show by what authority she holds the office School District 3 school board member.

Bates said the courts dismissed the case because it was not a board issue, but a tax issue instead, and that the resolution she presented on Thursday was to clear her name.

“The board didn’t have any jurisdiction over the issue,” Bates said to the other board members.

Board member Leroy Miles said this issue was handed over to the board attorney to look into.

“That is why we addressed this is because of the auditor’s findings last year,” said Miles. “We turned this over to the attorney to address with the DA’s office, and once that happened it was out of the board’s hands.”

Bates said that the board owed her for damages against her “good name” and claimed that the board violated policy.

Bates also claimed that the board voted to vacate her seat, which Miles said the board does not have the authority or voting power to do so.

Bates also claimed that meeting minutes existed that showed this vote, but did not produce them.

“If you have been present and able to vote all this time, we obviously did not vacate your seat,” said Miles.

Miles asked current school board attorney Malika Fortier to look at the previous resolution that was signed to hand this auditor claim over to the previous attorney.

“What it appears to me is that the board decided to sign a resolution asking the attorney to explore these issues and to take action,” said Fortier.

Fortier also said that Bates opposed the resolution but also signed it.

“I think what Ms. Bates is wanting is her name cleared with a separate type of resolution or motion,” said Fortier. “We can’t go back from this previous resolution. This case has already happened.”

When asked about the outcome of the case, Miles said the board had not heard of the outcome despite Bates’ claims that the case had been dismissed.

Fortier said she would return to the next meeting with the outcome of the case.