Prentiss County board blames attorney

county_prentiss_greenBy Lena Mitchell

Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

BOONEVILLE – The Prentiss County school board did not vote during its regular meeting Wednesday to renew the contract of the New Site principal, but school board President Ronny Kesler indicated that Ronald Clark would continue to serve in the position for the 2014-2015 school year.

A vote on Clark’s contract renewal will be placed on the agenda of the next regular board meeting on May 19.

The matter intensely discussed at the meeting was at least two board members’ dissatisfaction with the services of board attorney Allison Worley in handling issues related to Clark’s contract.

The school board voted in February to not renew Clark’s contract without full certification, although Clark has a provisional administrator’s license that is good through 2016.

Clark requested a hearing on the board’s decision, a hearing date was set and attorney Daniel Tucker was appointed as hearing officer.

After reviewing written submissions from the school district and Clark’s attorney, Tucker determined that although Clark had properly filed his request for a hearing, the school district had not followed proper procedure to provide Clark with required materials at least 14 days before the hearing. Therefore, by default, Clark’s contract should be renewed, Tucker determined.

On Wednesday, Kesler squarely laid blame for the district’s failings in the situation on attorney Worley’s shoulders.

His pointed comments were followed by a statement from board member Shelia Johnson in which she called for Worley’s termination as board attorney.

Worley, who has served as board attorney since June 2012, said late Wednesday that she had made board members aware of what was needed, but did not have direct access to district documents and computers to access the materials herself.

“The adversarial way they have behaved with me lately made it clear it was not a healthy relationship, so I had decided that I would not ask to renew the contract,” Worley said.

Worley’s services as attorney also will be placed on the next board agenda.

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