After nine months of resistance, the Guilford County Board of Education was finally forced by the North Carolina legislature to seat Michael Logan to represent District 3 on the school board at the Tuesday, Sept. 19 meeting.
At the beginning of the meeting, school board Chair Deena Hayes read a letter of resignation from former District 3 school board member Bill Goebel and asked school board attorney Jill Wilson to speak to the board.
Wilson said, “Board members, as you now in fact have an uncontested vacancy, you have received the nomination from the Republican Party of Michael Logan and it is time to swear in Mr. Logan pursuant to the statute, since there is no other challenge to the seat.”
However, according to the “statute” that Wilson noted, Goebel couldn’t resign because he was removed from the school board by that very statute on Aug. 17. Goebel, however, in his resignation letter did indicate that he would not challenge the legality of the statute at this time.
If Goebel had actually resigned shortly before the meeting, his replacement could not have been sworn in at the same meeting because, according to the statute, the Guilford County Republican Party would have to meet to nominate a replacement.
The Guilford County Republican Party met on Aug. 30 and nominated Logan to fill the seat that became vacant on Aug. 17 according to the state statute.
After this bit of face saving, Logan was sworn in by former Guilford County Board of Education member Anita Sharpe and took his seat on the board.
The Guilford County Republican Party Executive Committee first nominated Logan for the seat on Nov. 28, 2022. However, the Democratic majority on the Guilford County Board of Education voted against that nomination. The Guilford County Republican Party continued to nominate Logan and the school board continued to refuse to seat him.
In March, the North Carolina legislature passed a law that stated whoever the Guilford County Republican Party nominated would be sworn in, eliminating the vote by the school board. Logan went to the April 4 school board meeting expecting to be sworn in as the District 3 school board member.
The clear intent of that state statute was that the nominee of the Guilford County Republican Party would be sworn into office without a vote of the Guilford County Board of Education. However, the school board used a legal technicality to ignore the nominee of the Guilford County Republican Party and to seat Goebel as the District 3 school board member.
The North Carolina legislature then passed another law on Aug. 17. According to that law, Goebel’s term on the school board ended on Aug. 17, and it stated that the nominee of the Guilford County Republican Party Executive Committee “shall take the oath of office at the next regular meeting of the board.”
The Democratic majority on the Guilford County school board wasn’t quite done yet, and on Sept. 11 voted to hire an outside law firm to advise them on how to move forward.
The advice of those outside attorneys is unknown, but Logan was sworn into office in accordance with the state statute.