After an hour-long conference call that veered into the broader issues of the case, Judge Thomas Eisele set a hearing for 10 a.m. Monday on whether to grant a preliminary injunction that would prevent school board members Katherine Mitchell and Michael Daugherty from taking any action on the suspension or firing of Superintendent Roy Brooks.
Brooks' attorneys have to prove that Mitchell and Daugherty are so influenced by their personal feelings about Brooks that they aren't capable of being impartial.
Attorney Jess Askew said he plans to call eight witnesses, including Mitchell, Daugherty, board member Dianne Curry, and several top district administrators. The list also originally included Chip Welch, the attorney representing the board in the suspension and termination actions. But Welch argued that could conceivably keep him from doing his job at the 5:30 p.m. suspension hearing, and Eisele agreed.
Welch also said calling so many witnesses for a hearing on a preliminary injunction was an attempt to interfere with the suspension hearing. Eisele said he expected Askew to "move things along" Monday.
Attorney Terrence Cain, hired Friday to represent Mitchell and Daugherty, said that granting the preliminary injunction would be "one of the most muscular exercises of judicial authority I have ever seen," and might even amount to a violation of the Voting Rights Act because voters in two school board zones would be deprived of their representation.
Eisele agreed that Cain was "making a very serious argument. The court is going to be very hesitant" to remove an elected official from his or her role, he said.
PS FROM MAX -- Somebody help me here. How can you be strictly impartial after you've voted to fire someone? And, if you can't hold a hearing if you have voted to fire someone, how can someone ever be fired, no matter how flagrant the cause? Perhaps there's a legal standard here Gaddis can explain.
Simpler course: Buy Roy Brooks out.