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Rock Hill battle continues in court today

A local group suing to remove three Rock Hill school board members will go to court today to ask that the three board members be removed from the school board before the case against them is heard in court.

The group Citizens Against Poor Spending (CAPS) filed a lawsuit last month, seeking the removal of board members Lavetta Sites, Paul Johnson and Wanda Jenkins.

State law allows elected officials to be removed by petition to a court of law. The law mandates that such petitions be signed by 15 percent of total number of school district voters who cast a ballot in the last governor's election.

The lawsuit contends, among other things, that the three board members are guilty of violating the sunshine law and that 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.

This is the latest chapter in an on-going battle between Superintendent Lloyd Evans' supporters and detractors. It began in earnest in February 2004 when those three board members opted to non-renew Evans' contract as superintendent. Evans sued to get his job back and won his case last fall in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court. By a 3-2 vote, the board opted to appeal that decision.

In August of last year,

the local board voted 3-2 to hand over control of the district to the Lawrence County Educational Service Center board, which handled the Rock Hill district's affairs until after Evans' lawsuit was heard in court.

Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Richard Walton will hear today's request.