Phenix City School Board and Council battle continues

By Laura Ann Sills - bioemail

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - The Phenix City School Board believes City Council has done a number of illegal things in the last few months.

Superintendent Dr. Larry DiChiara explained, "Ranging from trying to remove a school board member in an unlawful manner, to demanding meetings with our board and board members and demanding that we turn over a bunch of documents."

City Council subpoenaed information from the board a month ago, ranging from gate receipts at football games to the names of school board members family that are employed in the system. 

Superintendent Dr. Larry DiChiara says most of the information is public record and the council can find online.

If the board had not filed the restraining order Monday morning, there was a possibility board members could be arrested on a misdemeanor charge for not handing over the information. 

[Web Extra! Phenix City School Board files restraining order against city]

The school board told News Leader 9 they just want some relief and felt the only way to get it was legally.  The superintendent says city councilors continue to blatantly disregard the rights of the board, overstepping their authority.

In Alabama, the school board is an independent entity.  DiChiara explained "that means that although they may be appointed by the city council, the city council has no authority over them whatever."

For the next seven days, a judge has ordered that the council in Phenix City not get involved in any of the school board's business.

A decision will then be made at a hearing on Monday, November 29th to grant or deny a permanent restraining order.

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