The Fairview Board of Education may have acted illegally in February when it took back its acceptance of Superintendent Bill Musick’s resignation, according to a state education department attorney.
After formally accepting Musick’s resignation, the board cannot rescind it, according to a letter from Kentucky Department of Education associate commissioner and general counsel Kevin Brown to John Vincent, an Ashland attorney who represents the board.
Once accepted, a resignation cannot be withdrawn, and “any effort by the current superintendent seeking to withdraw or rescind his resignation cannot have effect,” according to the letter.
Any attempt by the board to allow Musick to withdraw his resignation, to rescind the resignation, or to rehire him during the remainder of his term also would be invalid under state law.
Minutes show the board accepted Musick’s resignation in December and that at its February 24 meeting voted to “reconsider” the December vote and then voted to decline acceptance of the resignation.
State law prohibits rehiring a resigned superintendent in the same term of office. Musick is in the first year of a four-year contract renewal.
Vincent, who represents the board on a contract basis, said that the board has the right to reconsider its vote and then to decline the resignation. “Any public body has the right to reconsider its votes ... There are a zillion reasons to cause a public body to reconsider its votes. I think they can do that,” he said.
Musick did not withdraw his resignation, Vincent said.
However, in early March, Musick said he had asked the board to recline his resignation after he had a “change of heart” and wanted to keep his job.
Brown’s letter doesn’t carry any enforcement weight, according to education department spokeswoman Nancy Rodriguez. “It’s not a ruling; it’s an informational letter on the statutes. It’s something the department does to inform districts,” she said.
What the board will do about it is unclear. Board member Rick Tackett refused comment when reached by telephone and none of the other board members returned calls asking for comment.
MIKE JAMES can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2652.