A series of issues will now cause a vacancy on Washington CH Board of Education to be decided by a judge.
Maurice Pfeifer will not be sitting on the Washington Court House City School Board as expected when he took the oath of office on January 3rd. The failure to have a "full majority" vote has caused the Board to file a case with the Fayette County Probate Court as required by law.
Pfeifer was one of six applicants who applied to fill the vacancy after former Board President Jennifer Hollar-Young resigned November 7, 2011 stating personal reasons.
On November 28, 2011 after reviewing applications, the Board appointed Pfeifer.
Pfeifer was out of the state and unavailable to take the oath of office within ten days of his appointment as required by law; consequently, he failed to qualify as a Board member. Upon Pfeifer's failure to qualify as a Board member, there became a subsequent vacancy on the board on December 8, 2011.
As the vacancy remained, the Board of Education met on December 30, 2011 at which time three of the four remaining members were present.
Two of the three Board members present voted to appoint Pfeifer to the vacant position.
Pfeifer took the oath of office on January 3rd. It was later discovered that a full majority was needed.
Such motion failed because even though Pfeifer received the majority vote for members present, he did not receive the majority vote of the entire board.
The Ohio Revised Code states upon the Board's failure to fill the vacancy within thirty days, its statutory authority is to take the action to the Fayette County Probate Court. It's now up to Fayette County Probate Court Judge David Bender to decide who will fill the vacancy.
Superintendent Keith Brown said he believes this is the first time for this to ever happen in the board's history. Pfeifer declined comment.