Judge throws out motion to stall consolidation


Lauren Adams

PADUCAH, KY-   To consolidate McCracken County Schools or not? For Lone Oak parent Ed Riley it was never a question.  He was back in court Monday morning- battling to the bitter end.

School Board lawyer Miller Grumley said Riley's motion was simple, "In all of this the plaintiff has only identified three reasons the consolidation should not go ahead."




Riley's attorneys, Robert Prince and Charles Brien argued the case was not that simple claiming most of the process for the land along Highway 60 went against the law.

"I think it is clear here they lose on this issue because it says they can't do what they did here," Brien told the Judge of one part of the motion.

The motion contained three parts.  The first said there was a conflict of interest when it came to the property because two board members owned lots nearby.  It claimed Chairman Neil Archer and Dr. Don Heine would, as a result, stand to profit.

The second part claimed the paperwork to consolidate the schools, a motion to amend facilities plan, was not properly filed. The final part said The Board of Education did not have the full 45 days to consider that final paperwork.

Attorneys for the school board argued none of those points stood.

"There are no issues of fact, nothing for a jury to consider," lawyer Gorman Bradley said of a possible trial.

Owensboro based Judge Thomas Castlen agreed, saying everything in this case was done by the book, "The decision of the school board was approved by the Kentucky Department of Education and Kentucky Board of Education."

Riley, who chose not to comment had little reaction when Castlen threw out the case.  The School Board meanwhile says they're eager to move on.

"We feel confident the Judge made the right decision," Bradley said, before leaving the courtroom.

The Board of Education will prepare a Draft of Order. Once the Judge approves that it will be sent Riley.  He has 30 days to appeal that.  His lawyers say he is looking at the cost of an appeal but is very seriously considering it.

The School Board says they have never allowed this lawsuit to affect their plans. They are still on schedule to break ground for that new school along highway 60 in April. The school is scheduled to open in the fall of 2012.