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School Board terminates Attorney

By: Greg Bird

Meeting in a special session Wednesday night, the McCreary County Board of Education voted 3-2 in favor of terminating their agreement with Board Attorney Winter Huff, and seeking new legal counsel.

Prior to entering into executive session, Board member Roxanne Shook issued a statement questioning the calling of a special meeting to discuss the issue when the District is facing budget concerns.

“This could have happened at a regular Board meeting so we didn’t spend resources that could have been spent on students,” she said.

The McCreary County Board of Education was scheduled to meet in regular session the following week at the time of the special-called meeting on Thursday, September 25 at 6:00 p.m. at Whitley City Elementary School.

Board of Education members are paid a $75 per diem for each meeting, plus travel expenses. (According to the Board of Education, Board member Larry Davis declines travel expenses.)

Shook also noted the Board Attorney had been working for the District on a discounted rate, and hiring a new representative could cost the school district more money in the long run.

“The Board Attorney has saved the District thousands of dollars,” she added.

According to information obtained from the McCreary County Board of Education, Winter Huff, who has served as the Board’s attorney from February 2013 to present, has been paid a total of just over $10,000 for her services, an average of approximately $500 per month.

Comparatively, the previous Board Attorney, Larry G. Bryson (April 2011-January 2013) was compensated an average of about $2,088 per month. Tim Crawford, who had served as Board Attorney for over 13 years prior to Bryson and Huff, averaged over $4,000 per month during his service.

The Board entered into a 36-minute executive session where the Somerset-based attorney’s job performance was discussed.

When the Board entered back into regular session, Board Member Roxanne Shook motioned to not terminate the position, with Larry Davis seconding. Both Shook and Davis voted in favor of keeping Huff as Attorney, but fellow members Debbie Gibson, Brandon Kidd and Nelda Gilreath voted against.

Kidd followed the vote with a motion to end the agreement with the attorney, which was seconded by Gilreath. That vote passed with a 3-2 vote, with Davis and Shook voting against.

“I really don’t agree with this, and I am so disappointed with some people” Shook said.

“Attorney Winter Huff’s professionalism and legal advice during the past two years has been exemplary,” Superintendent Donnie Wright said after the meeting. “I salute (her) knowledge and work ethic. She has performed an outstanding service for the McCreary County School District.”

A second special called meeting was scheduled for Wednesday night with discussion toward a possible appointment of a new Board Attorney on the agenda. The meeting occurred after our press deadline, and the results of the decision, as well the September meeting will appear in next week’s Voice and on our website www.tmcvoice .com and

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