School board passes to hire independent counsel

WRBL Staff - COLUMBUS, Ga. -- A heated meeting is underway in Muscogee County to discuss the actions of school board member Frank Myers.

Tuesday night's action stems from school board member Frank Myers reaching out to lawyers for a Columbus alternative student who was reportedly body slammed several times eventually losing his leg in surgery. The school is now facing a $25 million lawsuit.

The gloves were off. This, as Myers was in the hot seat for his actions. A heated exchange one after the other. One concern from the board was a recent interview Myers and other school board member John Thomas did with the AllOnGeorgia publication.

"We believe there has been criminal conduct committed in this school district with respect to Montravious Thomas and Mr. Roy Newnan who's dead..one man has no leg. The other one has no life," says Frank Myers.

Myers expressed his current concerns with the Muscogee County School District. One concern, the death of Muscogee County school bus driver, Roy Newman. Newman died in a school bus crash that left multiple injured in August 2016. Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan confirmed to News 3 the crash was accidental.

"The bulk of the information that John and I have about Montravious and Roy Newnan...it's out there and that's what I wanted. I don't work for this board...I work for the public," says Myers.

Myers also addressed the reported body slamming of 13-year-old Montravious Thomas at Edgewood Student Services back in September 2016. In Earlier News 3 reports, we learned Thomas was allegedly hurt so badly by a contracted behavioral specialist, he he ended up losing his leg in surgery. Myers and Thomas took their concerns to the AllOnGeorgia publication Sunday. This action, among others carried out by Myers and Thomas are why other board members moved to hire an independent counsel, in an effort to prevent the district from missing out on its Advance Ed accreditation in 2017. This according to school board attorney, Greg Ellington.

"And Mr. Ellington, you talk about the reason we need an independent counsel is my criticism of you...I believe you were involved in this horrible conduct. I believe you're one of the reasons the GBI needs to be in here. I believe you shouldn't be sitting at this table giving legal advice to a group with this cloud of suspicion over your head," says Myers.

Despite the arguments of Myers, a vote still passed to move forward with hiring an independent counsel to evaluate board conduct. After the vote Myers left the meeting, he says to use the restroom. School board member Laurie McCrae left the meeting soon afterwards.

"I'm just making sure everyone does what they should," says Laurie McCrae.

From there, she escorted Myers back inside

Myers says he doens't understand the board's concern about his and Thomas' action. School board chair Pat Hughley Green argues their actions could jeopardize the district losing its Advance Ed accreditation and that's why independent counsel is needed. An Advance Ed representative says the board's actions will not be the main focus of the evaluation. Now the board with decide which independent counsel to hire.


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