For the first time in Ohio, a judge has ordered the majority of a school board’s members to step down.
Robert Kuehnle, Blenda James, and Angela Isaacs lost their elected posts on the Madison-Plains board of education on Sept. 27, when a local judge ruled that they were guilty of misconduct and that their continued service to the 1,500-student district would be harmful to the public.
Judge Robert D. Nichols of the Madison County Common Pleas Court found that the three board members had repeatedly violated the state’s public-records and open-meetings acts. He also found that the board members had violated state requirements for hiring certified teachers.
The judge denied the request to remove a fourth member of the five-person board, Sherry Kuehnle, who is Mr. Kuehnle’s mother, from office citing a lack of “convincing evidence” of misconduct.
More than 700 residents had petitioned the court to force all four of those members out. Madison County’s probate judge now has 30 days to appoint three new members to the board of the district, which is located just west of Columbus.