During the past two weeks, the Ninth Court has now ordered the district to include Neil, an incumbent, and three people seeking positions as trustees, Donna Forgas, Marcelino Rodriguez and Linda Gilmore, on the ballot. If the district loses its appeal, those candidates would run unopposed because incumbents Terry Williams, Zenobia Bush and board president Woodrow Reece didn't file for the election. They believe their seats don't expire until 2015.
The court ordered the district to place all seven seats up for election. An attorney representing the district has said only three seats should be up for election.
News release from Michael Getz -
This afternoon the Ninth Court of Appeals issued a writ of mandamus ordering the Beaumont Independent School District to include incumbent trustee Michael Neil as an unopposed candidate on the ballot for the May 11, 2013 school board elections. Attorney's for Mr. Neil had requested that the BISD board take formal action at their March 25, 2013 board meeting to include Mr. Neil as an unopposed candidate on the ballot. The board refused to take formal action on the matter and instead, by a 5-1 vote, opted to table the matter. Mr. Neil recused himself and did not vote on the matter.
The refusal of the BISD board to take the requested formal action forced Mr. Neil to hire attorneys to make sure that his name was placed on the ballot. Mr. Neil hired attorneys Mike Getz, David Vann deCordova, Jr., Hubert Oxford IV and Michael Truncale to file the Writ of Mandamu proceeding on his behalf.
BISD attorney Melody Chappell filed a response to the Writ of Mandamus in which she requested that Michael Neil not be listed as a candidate on the ballot for the May 11, 2013 action. The ruling from the Court of Appeals came less than three house after Ms. Chappell filed her response.
According to Getz, one of the attorney's representing Neild, "This was a matter that could have easily been avoided. The Court of Appeals adopted the same reasoning that it stated in the proceeding involving Marcellino Rodriguez, Linda Gilmore and Donna Forgas. The board of the Beaumont Independent School District is doing everything it can to delay or stop this election and to prevent citizens that have followed the law from being able to serve their community. The tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees being expended by this board to keep three incumbents in office that failed to sign up for the May 11, 2013 election represent dollars that could have been used in the classroom. It is deplorable."
Court orders BISD to place Mike Neil on election ballot
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