Man files federal suit against Fayette Co Board of Education

A Fayette County man has filed a federal lawsuit against the entire Fayette County school board, saying they've violated his rights and their contract to build a new school is illegal.
A Fayette County man has filed a federal lawsuit against the entire Fayette County school board, saying they've violated his rights and their contract to build a new school is illegal.

(WMC-TV) - A Fayette County man has filed a federal lawsuit against the entire Fayette County school board, saying they've violated his rights and their contract to build a new school is illegal.

"It's mind boggling it's still going on," John Bragorgos said Wednesday. "1965, that's the year the signed a court order to close Somerville Elementary, and that school is still open."

Its been nearly 50 years since Fayette County schools were federally ordered to become more racially diverse. As part of the plan, Somerville and Jefferson Elementary Schools are set to merge and a new school built.

But Bragorgos, a contractor, says two of the contracts to build are illegal.

"I would like someone to look into this illegal contract and whatever is done, do it right." he said. "That's all we ask for.  If the rules are broken, somebody's got to be held accountable."

School board members admitted the first construction contract was illegal because they didn't open up construction bids to the public.

Bragorgos has filed a federal lawsuit against school board members saying the second contract is illegal because it was voted on by secret ballot and not opened up to public construction bids.

This is a claim school board members say is frivolous.

In a statement, school board chair Bryon O'Brien said, "Representatives of the Fayette County Board of Education found out about the action filled by Mr. Bragorgos less that one (1) week ago.  We, as a Board, are confident that the decision to select Yates Construction as our Construction Manager was proper.  The vote was taken in a publicly scheduled meeting before the general public."

Bragorgos disagrees.

"To me, it's a calculated plan to continually run a segregated school system and if you have a great public education, people will come to the county, industries will show up," he said.

School superintendent Dr. Cedrick Gray says the Fayette County School Board's proposed plan to further desegregate schools was timely filed on September 15, 2011.

The Dept. of Justice and the NAACP have until January 12, 2012 to either agree with the Board's plan, to seek to work toward a joint plan between all parties, or to submit their own individual proposed plans.

There's no word yet on the next plan of action with John Bragorgos' federal lawsuit.

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