In the case of the two Republican members of the Guilford County Board of Education who are suing the seven Democratic members of the board, the two, along with Michael Logan – the Guilford County Schools teacher who was chosen by the Guilford County Republican Party to fill the District 3 vacancy on the board – have released a statement regarding the lawsuit.
The statement, which is signed by the three plaintiffs, Crissy Pratt, Linda Welborn and Logan, reads as follows: “We believe that local governments and boards, specifically the Guilford County School Board, should operate with transparency to both the public and to their own members. We believe that despite any political differences, it is our civic duty to work together for the best of our constituents. We also believe that a board should follow the laws set in place by the NC Legislature.”
The three brought the lawsuit against the seven Democratic members of the school board in their official capacity as board members. The plaintiffs argue that the seven violated North Carolina open meetings laws because of telephone conversations that they say constituted a meeting when the plan was hatched to seat Bill Goebel as the District 3 representative rather than Logan.
The lawsuit does not ask specifically that Goebel be replaced by Logan on the board. However, since the plaintiffs are arguing that the appointment of Goebel was done in a closed session that violated North Carolina’s open meetings laws, the remedy would be to declare that action null and void, which would allow the local Republican Party 30 days from the date of the decision to put up their candidate of choice, in accordance with current law. That candidate is expected to be Logan if the three win the lawsuit.
The press release continues: “Therefore, Crissy Pratt (Guilford County Schools board member, District 2), Linda Welborn (GCS board member District 4), and Michael Logan (Guilford County GOP appointee for GCS District 3) have filed a complaint in the Guilford County Superior Court for violations of NC Open Meetings law surrounding the District 3 vacancy. We trust that the courts will evaluate the evidence fairly and that justice will prevail. We remain committed to serving the students, parents, and staff of GCS with transparency, kindness, accountability, and fairness.”