AG Announces Decision in School Board Case

Attorney General Mark Herring has released his legal interpretation of state code section regarding the service of a board of supervisor’s relatives on county boards. The opinion, which was dated June 26th, addresses an inquiry into whether or not appointed Richmond County School Board Member Brenda Pemberton could continue to serve out her term with her husband Bobby Pemberton having been recently elected to the Richmond County Board of Supervisors.

In his opinion, the Attorney General says that although the law does apply to school board appointments made by a school board selection commission, it prohibits only an appointment that is made while the relative is serving on the board of supervisors. He goes on to say that it is his opinion that there is nothing which would preclude a school board member who was appointed prior to the election of the member’s spouse to the county’s board of supervisors from continuing to serve on the school board after his election.

He said because the school board member was appointed before her husband was elected to the board of supervisors, she may continue to serve on the school board, and she is not required to resign. However, if her husband is still a member of the board of supervisors when her term expires, she may not be reappointed at that time.