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Lawrence board member eyes nepotism policy

By Nancy Glasscock 340-2443

MOULTON — Lawrence County School Board member Gary Bradford said he isn't opposed to system employees working with relatives in the school system, but relatives working on the same campus could cause problems.

Bradford said Wednesday that "if the opportunity arises," he will voice concerns about nepotism at the next school board meeting.

He said board members receive tentative meeting agendas 48 to 72 hours before meetings, so he doesn't know if a personnel recommendation that failed at the board's Aug. 28 meeting will be up for approval again at a meeting scheduled for Sept. 13.

A recommendation to hire the wife of East Lawrence High School's principal as a clerical aide at the school failed at the Aug. 28 meeting after a discussion about whether the hire could violate nepotism laws. Board member Jackie Burch and Chairman Bobby Diggs voted to hire Rebecca Nichols, the wife of Principal Ricky Nichols, while Wendell Logan abstained and Bradford voted no.

Board member Dr. Beth Vinson did not attend the meeting.

Diggs said Aug. 28 that any changes in the board's policy on hiring relatives should be discussed during a later meeting.

Superintendent Dexter Rutherford said Wednesday that board members haven't talked with him about possible changes in the board's hiring practices.

"Nobody has said anything else to me about it," he said. "There was some discussion about proposing a policy, but as of right now, no one has said anything else about it."

Logan said Wednesday he wants to discuss hiring relatives of school system employees with the system's attorney, Jerome Thompson.

Thompson declined to comment on the matter, saying conversations with clients are kept private.

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