DeKalb BOE deal may include board members' resignations

by: Erica Byfield Updated:

Gov. Nathan Deal decided to remove six DeKalb County School Board members.

DECATUR, Ga. - Channel 2 Action News has learned there is a deal in the works that may lead to the resignation of the six DeKalb County school board members.

Earlier this week, Gov. Nathan Deal announced he wants to suspend Sarah Wood, Jay Cunningham, Nancy Jester, Eugene Walker, Pamela Speaks and Donna Edler.

A state senator from DeKalb County told Channel 2's Erica Byfield the deal may involve the board members resigning.

"I have said all along I would like to see this board members resign, let the public make the decision, let the voters decide who should go back on this board," said Emanuel Jones.

Channel 2 Action News has confirmed the governor and Interim DeKalb County Superintendent Michael Thurmond have met several times this week to discuss the fate of the board.

Monday night, Thurmond told Channel 2's Tony Thomas he was negotiating with the governor in the hopes of avoid a hearing the federal court on Friday.

A federal judge is set to hear arguments as to whether the law used to suspend the board members is unconstitutional. The State Board of Education accused the six DeKalb County school board members of board misconduct and financial mismanagement.

"It would be my hope that whatever discussion is taking place that governor would be open to some resignation from the board members rather than suspending these board members," Jones told Byfield.

If the board members resign the governor would be forced to call for an immediate election in DeKalb County to fill the six vacant seats.

If the board does not  resign, it is the governor's responsibility to select replacement members.

Jones told Byfield he knows talks about a number of issues, including the possible resignation of the board members, are under way but he's not sure how quickly a deal could be worked out.

Late Wednesday, the governor's office announced he is accepting applications for replacement board members. The deadline to apply is March 6.

The governor's office and DeKalb County School Districts confirmed the two have met, but declined to say what they have discussed.



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