Clergyman brings lawsuit against Phenix City Board of Education

Clergyman brings lawsuit against Phenix City Board of Education
Superintendent Randy Wilkes.
Superintendent Randy Wilkes.

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - A Phenix City man and member of the Community of Concerned Clergy brought a lawsuit against the Phenix City School Board on July 1.

Dr. Isaac Hudson accused the school board of violating state law during the hiring of Superintendent Randy Wilkes.

Dr. Isaac Hudson is the sole plaintiff listed on the seven page civil suit against the Phenix City Board of Education. Hudson, a member of Community Concerned Clergy, raises concerns about the hiring process for new Superintendent Wilkes.

"Elected and appointed officials who are servants of the people must not circumvent their own processes and guidelines," Hudson explains.

The suit claims that five of the seven member school board violated executive session laws, failed to advertise the opening of the superintendent position, failed to properly advertise the meeting where Wilkes was announced as the new superintendent and violated state law by meeting with Wilkes one-on-one.

Hudson says "as a result, this complaint has been filed and we're hoping that the courts will grant a final disposition in terms of the processes and procedures that were followed. And if it did not be followed according to the law of Alabama, then we would like for the courts to set these decisions that have been made recently aside."

Hudson and others met Wednesday to discuss their next step in a press conference. The concerned clergy tell us they simply want the Phenix City Board of Education to include the stake holders in the community.

"There was not community participation in the hiring of the new superintendent. And it doesn't mean that they will not hire him. It simply means we want the process to be followed through and no less than that," adds Hudson.

I reached out to the Phenix City Board of Education attorney, Sydney Smith, who says "the board members have not been served. the board, its employees and myself are going to spend the 4th of July weekend with family. we may be in a position to comment further early next week."

Superintendent Wilkes was appointed to the position on June 10, 2014, fulfilling a space left vacant on November 26, 2013. According to the lawsuit, the school board did not honor the hiring deadlines that were required by law. He says the interim Superintendent served beyond the 180 day deadline, and that Wilkes was hired after the 120 day deadline.

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