(WMC-TV) – Unified School Board Commissioner Martavius Jones says a fiery e-mail exchange was the culmination of a secret plot to oust Memphis Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash.
"This has been brewing behind the scenes and now it has come to a head. I was approached as early as late January about, 'Why don't we just ease Cash out so we can easily name Aitken as superintendent," stated Jones.
Jones would not identify who approached him, but the tensions became clear when School Board Chair Billy Orgel called a special meeting on the "Employment Contract of Dr. Kriner Cash."
Jones replied County Superintendent John Aitken's contract should be added to the agenda. Commissioner Kenneth Whalum responded with support for Orgel.
"I'm simply trying to respect the right of the chair to make decisions at his discretion," said Whalum.
Jones says it's too soon to talk contracts because suburban commissioners may not be part of the board if the six municipalities form their own districts.
"They're saying we don't want any part of you, but we still want a say on how the county school system, which will be Memphis City Schools, will be run," Jones said.
Whalum believes this may be an honorable escape for Dr. Cash.
"He is looking to do something else. We know he was one of the finalists for the position at Charlotte-Mecklenberg," Whalum stated.
Jones says Cash's hand was forced by the effort to push him out.
"He interviewed in Charlotte based on what was taking place behind the scenes," said Jones.
Either way, Jones says due process is only fair.