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August 15--  Toombs County School Superintendent Dr. Kendall Brantley has his keys back and is back on the job with the county school system.


Dr. Brantley (R) returned to the county school board meeting Monday night after being barred from last Thursday night's meeting by board chairman Caraway (L).

School Board Chairman Daniel Caraway took Dr. Brantley's keys before a school board meeting last Thursday acting on advice from lawyers who said a state law prohibited Dr. Brantley from retiring earlier this summer and returning to his job.

Turns out the lawyers were talking about return in a fulltime capacity while Dr. Brantley is now employed in a part-time capacity.  Senator Tommie Williams of Lyons sent a letter to Caraway apologizing for the inaccurate information which had come from the state's office of Legislative Counsel.

According to Caraway, the whole thing started when a constituent read a July 29th column by Senator Jack Hill about state retirees on SoutheastGeorgiaToday.Com. and asked him to investigate if it applied to Dr. Brantley.  He said he did his job and is glad it's over.

"There is an apology here that was sent down from Atlanta for any kind of misguidance or misinformation which was passed out.  I appreciate that and I'm glad that Dr. Brantley is back to be in the position he's in to carry on the school work," Caraway told Monday night's meeting of the school board.

Dr. Brantley told an overflow conference room, "I know Mr. Caraway was advised to do what he thought was right.  Anytime you're not sure, I suppose you have to be cautious and be safe.  That's what I always try to do."

Meanwhile, a majority of the school board passed a motion regarding possible censure or sanction against board chairman Caraway for possible violation of the school board's Code of Ethics.  The motion by Duane Tomlin instructs Dr. Brantley, in consultation with board attorney Macky Bryant, to explore actions the board can take.  All but board members Russ Benton and Jonathan Holland voted for the measure.

One provision in the board's Code of Ethics, "Recognizes that the authority of the board rests only with the authority of the board as a whole and not with individual board members and act accordingly."

Some board members were upset that the chairman took the superintendent's keys without board authority before last Thursday's meeting.

Caraway also conducted a board meeting without the presence of the superintendent last Thursday night which is a violation of the code.