Judge rules school board seat vacant, special election ordered

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ANDERSON, S.C. (WSPA)- A judge has ruled that an Anderson County School District 2 School Board member is not on the board after he resigned and rescinded his resignation days later.

In May, board member Stu Shirley emailed the board, saying he was resigning effective immediately. Two days later, he emailed the board chair in an attempt to rescinded his resignation. Shirley has been voting with the board for months.

Friday, Judge Cordell Maddox signed an order saying that Shirley’s resignation stands. The court also ordered a new election to fill the open seat on the board.

The school board has been divided over this issue, with three board members hiring their own attorneys in an attempt to show that Shirley has not been a board member since he resigned.

“I was happy that the judge upheld the law that states that if you resign effective immediately, it means immediately,” said Kevin Craft, who is on the Anderson County School District 2 Board.

Craft and board members Phil Ashley and Jimmy Ouzts took the board to court over the matter.

“I felt very confident in our position in the start, that’s why we filed,” said Kurt Tavernier, who is one of the attorneys representing Craft, Ashley, and Ouzts. “I feel confident the order will hold up.”

7News also reached out to Ken Childs, who is one of the attorneys for the other side. He said that he feels the judge’s order was factually and legally flawed. He said the board has the option to either make a motion for re-consideration or appeal, but they haven’t made a decision yet.

In the meantime, the board may need to revisit the votes Shirley has taken since he sent that resignation email back in May.

“Our position is those votes that he participated in in which he may have been the deciding vote or handled or maintaining the quorum necessary need to be reviewed and are possibly going to be overturned,” Tavernier said.

Board members on the defendant side declined to comment or did not respond to an email Monday.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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