by Max Brantley
Circuit Judge Tim Fox has issued a summary judgment dismissing the taxpayers' suit seeking to declare the buyout of Little Rock School Superintendent Roy Brooks' contract an illegal exaction.
Fox held that the Arkansas Supreme Court has ruled that school boards have broad discretion in operating school districts. In this case, that includes entering a contract with a unilateral termination provision that includes a buyout. The plaintiffs had argued that the buyout effectively provided pay to someone who wasn't working and this wasn't constitutional. They wanted an injunction to block it.
Here's the order. I didn't read far enough in my first quick look at the file I received in which Fox denied a request for a temporary injunction and so my first post was incomplete. That order was followed by the order on the merits of the case, a complete finding for the defendant Little Rock School Board.
This means, of course, that the rear guard action to keep Brooks in office past the buyout date in late August is not going to succeed.
Appeal? One of the attorneys for the plaintiffs, Eugene Sayre, said it was too early to say. "We're going to review it and see what our actions need to be."