Several Bibb County school board members and employees have been subpoenaed to appear as witnesses at an upcoming court hearing about Superintendent Romain Dallemands employment contracts.
Lizella resident Brad DeFore filed a lawsuit, contending that Dallemands contracts should be voided. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Friday in Bibb County Superior Court.
DeFores lawsuit argues that school board members violated the states open meetings law when they approved a new contract for Dallemand at a Dec. 3 meeting. Dallemands new contract took effect this month and expires at the end of 2015.
It also contends the contract offer compensates Dallemand more than the amount the board approved.
In addition, the lawsuit argues that it violates the state constitutions rules against committing taxpayers to multi-year debt without a vote or budgeting the full financial commitment in one fiscal year.
The lawsuit contends that the multiyear debt argument also applies to Dallemands previous contract, which was to expire on June 30, 2013. Dallemand took the helm of the Bibb County school system in 2011.
Attorney Charles Cox, who is representing DeFore in the case, said subpoenas were sent Wednesday to current board members Sue Sipe, Lynn Farmer, Jason Downey and Lester Miller, as well as former board member Tommy Barnes.
Miller and Downey acknowledged Wednesday they received the subpoenas. Efforts to reach Sipe, Farmer and Barnes for comment were not successful. Besides the board members, three staff members also received subpoenas, though Cox declined to name them.
While Cox would not discuss specifics, he said he is confident about the lawsuit, based on the facts of the case.
Superior Court Judge Edgar Ennis is scheduled to hear arguments Friday in DeFores case as well as arguments in a whistle-blower lawsuit filed by the school systems former Chief Financial Officer Ron Collier.
Collier says he was demoted for asking questions about a $1 million check to pay an invoice to the Central Georgia Partnership for Individual and Community Development. That nonprofit group is in a 10-year, $5.75 million lease agreement with the school district to rent half of the old Ballard-Hudson Middle School for Macon Promise Neighborhood initiatives aimed to improve the lives of students and families.
Sipe, who is the acting board president, also has been subpoenaed for Colliers lawsuit, attorney Jerry Lumley said Wednesday.
Meanwhile, an all-day board governance training session that also had been scheduled for Friday morning, was canceled and expected to be rescheduled, according to a Wednesday afternoon school system news release.