2009-08-12 / Community

Randolph County BOE Chairman and Superintendent goes to jail

by Sonja Stripling sstripling213@yahoo. com

Randolph County Board of Education Chairman Henry Cook and Superintendent Bobby Jenkins will serve jail time.

On Thursday, July 30, 2009, Judge Kevin Chason found Chairman Cook and Superintendent Jenkins guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt, of "willful criminal contempt" of his order. He sentenced both to serve four days in jail. They were to report to the Randolph County Jail Monday morning, August 10, at 8:00 a.m. sharp. A bench warrant will be issued if they failed to appear.

Randolph County school board members Don Smith, Dymple Mc- Donald, and Tom Mock brought contempt charges against the superintendent and chairman for actions taken at a June 30, 2009 board meeting. Attorney Tommy Coleman represented them in the case.

In the courtroom on July 30, divided with supporters of both sides, a video of the June 30 meeting was shown as evidence.

Jenkins and Cook's attorney Maurice King provided the court with applications for "supercedes" (to set aside the ruling) and a notice of appeal. He argued that the judge couldn't deny the motion for supersedes. Judge Chason held firm, and sid the King could go to appellate court.

State National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) came to Cuthbert and were present showing their support for Cook and Jenkins. Members of the NAACP stood behind the chairman and superintendent during court proceedings.

"All my clients want to do is be able to put things on the agenda and have them voted on. And if majority votes, the superintendent should be obligated to carry it out," said attorney Tommy Coleman.

On June 16, Judge Chason's order stated that any member of the Randolph County Board of Education has the right to include items on the agenda. It also gave a board member the right to appeal any ruling by the chairman. A vote of the majority would prevail.

Actions that occurred on June 30 resulted in Smith, McDonald, and Mock filing the contempt charges against Cook and Jenkins which were presented before Judge Chason.

On behalf of Cook and Jenkins their Attorney King has filed an appeal of Judge Chason's decision.

In other school board business a termination hearing for Superintendent Jenkins is scheduled for August 19, 2009.

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