3 Moore Co. school board member resign amid controversy

PINEHURST, N.C. – Three members of the Moore County School Board resigned Saturday, a day after a Republican legislator asked a total of five members to step down.

This comes after former superintendent Bob Grimesey was fired Thursday in an emotional meeting that sparked outrage from teachers and parents. The board voted 5-3 for his firing without saying why. Grimesey told WNCN he didn’t even know why he was let go.

Kathy Farren, Ben Cameron and Sue Black all resigned, according to Moore County Schools.

On Friday, Rep. Jamie Boles (R-Moore) said he had obtained a restraining order from James Webb, the senior resident superior court judge, “to restrict and limit the powers of the present Board until proper legislation is passed to establish a fair process in which elected officials can be held accountable.” The restraining order restricts the board from hiring a new superintendent.

“Many of Moore County’s citizens have asked me to rescind the decision I made last Thursday or to resign. Because I still stand by the decision I made, which was informed by information that is protected by strict confidentiality laws, I will not rescind the vote I made in service to Moore County Schools and our community,” Farren said in her resignation letter to the board.

In his resignation letter, Cameron said he believes the vote he cast to fire the superintendent Thursday will be revealed to be the right decision for Moore County Schools.

Black said she no longer wishes to stand in the way of the work that needs to be done for education in the county in her resignation letter.

“In the seven years of my political career, I have never seen the continuity and unity of Democrats, Republicans, NAACP, PTA, students, teachers, conservatives and liberals alike as I have seen with the unified condemnation of the process in which our Superintendent Dr. Grimesey was fired,” said Boles.

Boles told WNCN he was “outraged” by the firing. He said he didn’t know why Grimesey was fired but said, “Whether he comes back or not, they need to have integrity on the board.”

Boles called for resignation of Farren, Laura Lang, Cameron and Becky Carlson by Monday at noon. His legal complaint said they were “motivated by personal animosity towards Dr. Grimesey and personal favoritism and affiliation with Kathy Kennedy, assistant superintendent,” who Boles said is now seeking the superintendent’s position.

Laura Lang, one of the five board members who voted to fire the superintendent, told WNCN Saturday afternoon that she had no plans to resign.

“I hope that people will realize that we didn’t do anything wrong and understand what we did was in the best interest of our district,” she said.

Chairman of the Moore County Board of Education, Bruce Cunningham, told WNCN, “I saw no evidence of any illegal or immoral or unethical basis that would justify the dismissal or termination of the superintendent.” He said he will soon start looking for the replacements of the now vacant school board positions and says anyone who lives in Moore County, can apply by emailing him.

Cunningham also said he hopes to reinstate Superintendent Grimesey, if Grimesey is open to coming back.

Copyright WNCN 2015. All rights reserved.

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