Pastor explains lawsuit filed in Phenix City schools superintend - WRBL

Pastor explains lawsuit filed in Phenix City schools superintendent hiring

Posted: Updated:
COLUMBUS, Ga. -

Dr. Isaac Hudson, pastor of Nichols Chapel AME Church in Phenix City, filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Russell County Circuit Court over the hiring of the Phenix City School District's new superintendent Randy Wilkes.

The suit names board of education members Brad Baker, Kelvin Redd, Ricky Carpenter, Fran Ellis, and Paul Stamp, but leaves out Zara Parham and Barbara Mitchell. Parham and Mitchell abstained from the vote to hire Wilkes citing they had not yet met him.

"The day is over that we just accept what anybody says," said Dr. Isaac Hudson.

With that sentiment, Dr. Hudson said he was suing the Phenix City School Board. During a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Hudson laid out his lawsuit. He's the sole plaintiff but is supported by the Concerned Clergy of Phenix City and nearly 30 community members who gathered Wednesday.

The lawsuit alleges that the board violated the rules of executive session, failed to properly advertise the opening, and failed to properly advertise the meeting where the hire was announced. The suit claims that meeting was labeled a “work session.” The lawsuit also says some board members illegally met privately with Wilkes in order to avoid mandatory meeting rules.

The lawsuit also alleges that the State Board of Education overstepped its role when it endorsed Randy Wilkes for the position, who was eventually given the job.

"Since they have made decisions and ignored the public input and the public spirit, then the courts need to make a decision and dispose of this matter once and for all,"said Dr. Hudson.

2 other candidates for the job were interviewed by the entire school board in open, session meetings. The school board then turned to the Alabama Department of Education for suggestions after they didn't find who they were looking for. Randy Wilkes officially started the job Tuesday, but was approved about a month ago at a board meeting. At the time of Wilkes hiring, the school board said Wilkes had not been interviewed publicly because he was not interviewed formally by the entire board. His hiring was not included on the agenda during the meeting where he was hired and came as a surprise to many in the community.

Attorney Joseph Wiley is representing Dr. Hudson and tells News 3 they have a strong case.

"Step by step, executive session, work session, just too many legal violations that we could not stand by and not get involved," said Joseph Wiley.

The lawsuit asks that Wilkes be removed from his role as superintendent. News 3's Naomi Keitt reached out to the 5 board members listed in the suit by email and phone calls. We have yet to hear back from them.

Naomi Keitt

Naomi Keitt focuses on education reporting for WRBL News 3. More>>

James Brierton

James joined WRBL News 3 with experience from CNN, NBC News and his own hyper-local news site. He manages the WRBL News 3 Web desk. More>>

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Columbus man hit by own car after crashing on 1st Avenue

    Columbus man hit by own car after crashing on 1st Avenue

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:30 PM EDT2014-09-02 01:30:43 GMT
    Anthony Williams, 29, was run over and killed by a car near Chase Homes on 1st Avenue late Saturday night, according to Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan.
    Anthony Williams, 29, was run over and killed by a car near Chase Homes on 1st Avenue late Saturday night, according to Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan.
  • Woman robbed of $700 at knifepoint in Columbus bank parking lot, report says

    Woman robbed of $700 at knifepoint in Columbus bank parking lot, report says

    Saturday, August 30 2014 11:11 PM EDT2014-08-31 03:11:34 GMT
    Two men held a 50-year-old woman at knife point and took hundreds of dollars from her in a bank parking lot Friday, according to a police report.The woman told police the attack happened after she withdrew $700 from the Wells Fargo ATM on 13th Street. She says it happened around 5:30 in the afternoon.“That is very surprising, especially in broad daylight. It's just getting outrageous these days,” said Roy Robertson, who was withdrawing money from the ATM on Saturday.The woman told News 3 she ...
    Two men held a 50-year-old woman at knife point and took hundreds of dollars from her in a bank parking lot Friday, according to a police report.The woman told police the attack happened after she withdrew $700 from the Wells Fargo ATM on 13th Street. She says it happened around 5:30 in the afternoon.“That is very surprising, especially in broad daylight. It's just getting outrageous these days,” said Roy Robertson, who was withdrawing money from the ATM on Saturday.The woman told News 3 she ...
  • Motorcycle club altercation leaves 2 dead, 2 injured

    Motorcycle club altercation leaves 2 dead, 2 injured

    Monday, September 1 2014 5:49 PM EDT2014-09-01 21:49:52 GMT
    Two victims were shot in the chest and died. Two other people had non-life-threatening injuries and are expected to survive, said police.
    Two victims were shot in the chest and died. Two other people had non-life-threatening injuries and are expected to survive, said police.
Watch Live Watch Live Religious services
some_text
  • Assignment EducationMore>>

  • Update: MCSD Tribunal upholds teacher layoff

    Update: MCSD Tribunal upholds teacher layoff

    Saturday, August 30 2014 3:53 PM EDT2014-08-30 19:53:22 GMT
    A laid off Muscogee County school teacher is trying to get her job back during a tribunal hearing. LaQuita Buckner was let go on July 11th after serving the school district for 18 years.
    A laid off Muscogee County school teacher is trying to get her job back during a tribunal hearing. LaQuita Buckner was let go on July 11th after serving the school district for 18 years.
  • Cool School: Glenwood

    Cool School: Glenwood

    Friday, August 29 2014 4:22 PM EDT2014-08-29 20:22:54 GMT
    Glenwood is teaching kids the importance of a "hand written letter" through a student-run post office.11 students meet twice a week after school to sort and deliver the mail that any student, parent, or teacher can write and drop off in a mailbox in the front of the school. The mail is then delivered to the classrooms 3 times a week. Last year, students were sworn in by the Smiths Station Post Master- but not before they could prove they could handle the job.“Those who scored 80% on the onlin...
    Glenwood is teaching kids the importance of a "hand written letter" through a student-run post office.11 students meet twice a week after school to sort and deliver the mail that any student, parent, or teacher can write and drop off in a mailbox in the front of the school. The mail is then delivered to the classrooms 3 times a week. Last year, students were sworn in by the Smiths Station Post Master- but not before they could prove they could handle the job.“Those who scored 80% on the onlin...
  • Columbus State posts fundraising record

    Columbus State posts fundraising record

    Officials say Columbus State University has raised a record $12.7 million in private donations.
    Officials say Columbus State University has raised a record $12.7 million in private donations.
Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.