School Board hires attorney for personnel investigation

Published 5:34 pm Friday, October 15, 2021

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JACKSON – Despite some opposition, the Northampton County Board of Education, at their regular meeting here Oct. 11, approved hiring an attorney for a personnel investigation.

School Board Attorney Rod Malone presented the information to the board, noting that this action stemmed from a prior closed session discussion.

Malone explained that the attorney to conduct the investigation will be Clay Hodges of the law firm Harris, Sarratt, and Hodges. His rate will be $225 per hour.

Board member Tony Burnette asked if the board had ever hired an attorney for this purpose before, and when would Hodges start working if approved.

Malone answered that this action isn’t uncommon for school boards to take, and explained that Northampton County has done this in the past. Hodges’ contract would begin immediately following board approval.

Board members Barbara Stephenson motioned to approve hiring the attorney, and Lucy Edwards provided the second. The vote was 4-2 in favor. Burnette and Theresa Scott cast the dissenting votes.

The News Herald reached out to Malone, by email, for more information about what prompted the investigation.

He stated in his response, “This is a confidential personnel matter. That is all I can say at this time.”