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James Seeks Court Hearing
Thursday, 17 November 2011

November 17--  The chairwoman of the Montgomery County school board wants a judge to determine if there are sufficient grounds for her to face a recall election.

The attorney for Deloris James filed court papers Thursday asking that a Superior Court judge be appointed to rule on a recall application petition filed Monday.  

A five-member group of citizens headed by Rudy Nanney of Montgomery County submitted a petition with 118 signatures to start the recall process.

Attorney Joe McGovern says Nanney's alleged facts in the application are either "altogether false or gross mischaracterizations alleged soley for political purposes."

The lawyer also wants a ruling from a judge on whether former Montgomery County High School principal Luke Smith is classified as a state employee.  Smith's contract with the Montgomery County school system was not renewed last year and he is among those who circulated the recall petition against James.  He currently is employed by the Wheeler County school system.

McGovern says state law prohibits state employees from circulating a recall petition and that 59 signatures obtained by Smith are void and cannot be counted.

Montgomery County Superior Court Clerk Keith Hamilton says James' petition for a hearing will be referred to the Oconee Judicial Circuit's administrative law judge who will arrange for a judge outside the circuit to hear the case.

 
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