Pike Road files motions to AL Supreme Court over Georgia Washington

Pike Road files motions to AL Supreme Court over Georgia Washington
(Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Two motions were filed to the Alabama Supreme Court Friday afternoon on behalf of the Town of Pike Road and Pike Road Mayor Gordon Stone.

The two motions are an emergency petition of writ of mandamus and an emergency motion for an immediate stay of proceedings. These motions are in response to a lawsuit filed two weeks ago by the Alabama Education Association to place a temporary restraining order on the sale.

A circuit judge scheduled the hearing for the AEA's lawsuit to be set for March 29. In the meantime, an injunction was filed that kept the sale from moving forward as the case pends.

"We're asking the supreme court to basically take this thing over and, in the end, throw it out because we don't believe it's a proper lawsuit in the first place," Stone's attorney Doyle Fuller said.

The motion for an immediate stay of proceedings aims to essentially cancel out the restraining order and allow the sale to move forward per authority of the Alabama Supreme Court. The petition of writ of mandamus aims to have the temporary restraining order case thrown out by the Supreme Court because Pike Road officials do not believe the plaintiffs on the lawsuit have any legal standing.

The two plaintiffs named in that lawsuit are MPS employees. Fuller said they would not be any more impacted by the sale of the school than any other resident, so the case does not belong in the court system. He said, if anything, it is a matter to be handled by the legislature.

Pike Road officials requested their motions be expedited so they will have a definitive answer on the sale with enough time to prepare for the 2018-2019 school year. Fuller said Pike Road Schools has alternative options to move forward, even if the sale does not go through, but would need to know what is going to happen in the next two to four weeks.

He said Pike Road Schools is committed to maintaining the history and legacy of the school, Georgia Washington and her gravesite if the school is completed.

In a written statement, Montgomery County Board of Education President Robert Porterfield, who has been vocal about his opposition to the sale said, "I am not surprised. We will continue moving forward, working for the best interest of the children of MPS."

On Friday afternoon, WSFA 12 News received a copy of a letter sent out to MPS employees sent by Chief Administrative Officer Dr. Reginald Eggleston. The letter lays out the financial impact of selling Georgia Washington for the system, and also states the system will likely have to lay off 200 or more employees as early as May if the sale does not go through.

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