After over 20 years as the Clinton Board of Education’s legal representative, the Kirby Law Firm will no longer be in that role, a decision that becomes effective July 15.
The 4-2 vote to terminate its dealings with the firm followed a lengthy 3 1/2 hour closed-door meeting Thursday night.
Board member Kathleen Squibb made the motion to terminate, Diane Viser seconded the motion and board members Randy Barefoot and Georgina Zeng backed the motion. Board chairman E.R. Mason and Carol Worley cast the dissenting votes.
Kirby Law Firm owner Albert Kirby was not at the meeting because of a prior appointment out of town, but colleague Ana-Cristina Jimenez was in attendance in Kirby’s place.
“I am curious to know what was said (in closed session),” Kirby said Friday morning. “But I have nothing negative to say, period. I just can’t do it. I care too much for the system.”
When asked if he knew exactly why his firm was let go, Kirby responded with a flat “no comment.”
Although each board member was called numerous times, Mason was the only one who actually spoke about the termination, albeit briefly.
“I don’t want and can’t discuss what went on in closed session,” he stressed. “I voted against it because I just thought there could have been some other avenues that could have been taken (other than terminating the contract).”
It was not clear just why ties with Kirby’s firm were terminated, but one board member, who asked not to be identified, said that it had to do with a personnel issue, as well as “other issues” that had been growing between Kirby and the board over the last year.
Mason, however, said he had nothing but good things to say about Kirby’s work over the past two decades with the Clinton City school board.
“I commend him for a job well done,” the chairman said. “Over the years he has done an outstanding job as a lawyer, in my opinion. He was courteous and always helpful in any and all endeavors we had.”
There has not been a decision made on what firm will now represent the board. Mason said the board would take up that matter when it meets again July 10.
To reach Doug Clark call 910-592-8137 ext. 123 or email to email@example.com.