Lawyers for a Bibb County man and for the school board are debating whether School Supt. Romain Dallemand's contract is valid.
Bibb County Superior Court Edgar Ennis is hearing arguments on a lawsuit filed by Brad DeFore.
His suit argues that Dallemand's contract is illegal, and the school board acted illegally when it approved it. He's asking Ennis to throw out the contract and invalidate any payments under the contract.
In his opening statement, DeFore's lawyer made four main points:
He said the Dec. 3 board of education meeting when Dallemand's contract was approved violated the state's open meeting law.
He says even if the meeting was valid, the contract ultimately signed was different than the offer approved by the board.
And he said the Georgia State Constitution prohibits public agencies from entering into multi-year contracts.
Finally, Cox noted that Dallemand's contract gives the superintendent a severance package even if he is fired for cause.
The school board's attorney, Ben Mathis, said, "There's nothing in this contract that is inappropriate."
He said, "It would come as a shock to every school district in Georgia that you can't have a multi-year lease for a superintendent."
And Mathis said severance pay like that contained in the Dallemand contract is very common.
The first witness, former school board chairman Tommy Barnes answered questions about the
timetable of their negotiations with Dallemand last year and how the
contract was approved.
The hearing broke for lunch around 11:30 ..