Lawsuit seeks to remove RH board members

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The on-going saga of strife and struggle in the Rock Hill School District continues.

Members of the group Citizens Against Poor Spending headed by former board member Rich Donohue

filed a lawsuit Monday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court seeking to remove board president Lavetta Sites and fellow board members Paul R. Johnson and Wanda Jenkins from the board "because their presence in office is harmful to the school district and its students."

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A hearing is scheduled for April 13 in Common Pleas Court to suspend those three board members pending the outcome of the lawsuit.

The lawsuit contends that the board members named in the lawsuit "are guilty of gross misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance of office …"

The lawsuit also contends the three board members are guilty of violating the sunshine law, have conducted secret, unscheduled meetings, have excluded board members Troy Hardy and Jackie Harris from those meetings and routinely discussed matters in executive session they are not legally allowed to discuss in closed forum.

Sites said she, Johnson and Jenkins became aware of the lawsuit Tuesday evening at the board's regular monthly meeting.

Sites does not believe the suit has merit.

"I have not seen it yet," she said Wednesday. "I heard about it last night."

Attempts to contact Donohue were unsuccessful after he repeatedly hung up the telephone.

The lawsuit also contends, among other things, that Jenkins and Johnson often allowed Sites sole control of the board and that the three defendants repeatedly abused their power in their actions on the board.

The lawsuit further contends Sites, Jenkins and Johnson abdicated their responsibilities by handing over control of the local board to the county board of education in the fall of 2004.

The lawsuit further contends Sites is guilty of perjury, the three board members have mishandled school funds and have violated board policy.