MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - All sides in a lawsuit have publicly reacted following Friday's opinion by the Alabama Supreme Court to dismiss an appeal and order the Montgomery County Circuit Court to close the case that prevented Interim Alabama State Superintendent Dr. Ed Richardson from selling property belonging to the Montgomery Public Schools system.
The high court ordered the lower court to dismiss on the grounds that the Alabama Education Association, which brought the suit seeking to prevent the sale of property including Georgia Washington Middle School, did not have standing and that the trial court never had jurisdiction over the case.
AEA contended Richardson never had authority to sell property but the justices felt otherwise, saying:
An MPS spokesperson referred all questions regarding the opinion to the Alabama State Department of Education, but MPS Board President Robert Porterfield issued his own statement saying he was "very disappointed" and that "the court has spoken". But he added it was "now time for the citizens of Montgomery County to rise up and speak out against these actions."
Interim Supt. Richardson said he was "very pleased":
AEA said it was "disappointed" but would respect the decision. It released a statement that read, in part:
Richardson, who is overseeing the state's intervention of the Montgomery Public School system until Dr. Eric Mackey takes over the job, had planned to close some schools and put them up for sale due to the system's financial issues.
Richardson had a purchase agreement of nearly $10 million for Georgia Washington Middle School with nearby Pike Road Schools. But in late March, citing ongoing litigation, Pike Road terminated the contract and said it was pursuing "other options" to serve its students in the upcoming school year.
Pike Road had left the door open to possibly revisiting the purchase. Friday, Mayor Gordon Stone commented on the next steps:
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