Roland may sue over commission plan to stop suburban schools - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Roland may sue over commission plan to stop suburban schools

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A sudden request for an unscheduled executive session during Monday's commission meeting started a series of events that may cause Roland to sue the legislative body. A sudden request for an unscheduled executive session during Monday's commission meeting started a series of events that may cause Roland to sue the legislative body.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) – Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland accuses his fellow commissioners of violating the county's charter by suing to block municipal school districts. Now he's planning to file a law suit against those very same politicians.

Roland says a sudden request for an unscheduled executive session during Monday's commission meeting started it all.

One day later the commission filed a lawsuit against the state seeking to block Shelby County suburbs from forming their own school districts.

"Nobody ever voted," said Roland Friday. "Nobody ever gave them permission. As far as I'm concerned, it's an illegal action."

Roland argues his fellow commissioners violated their own charter by suing the state to block municipal school districts.

"To re-sue the state we would have to file up another resolution and vote on it, and that didn't happen," he said.

In two letters written this week he asked Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell to step in.

"He's raised some legal questions that I think have to be answered by the county attorney," Luttrell said.

But Luttrell said many of Roland's other questions need to be directed toward the county commission.

"Expecting us to work out his differences with the county commission is a little beyond our control," Luttrell said.

Roland said someone needs to review the commission's actions.

"This is tearing our community apart," he said. "With these secret meetings and all, you can see why people don't trust government anymore."

Roland says the commission used a private law firm to draw up the lawsuit and in order for it to get filed so quickly, he suspects there were earlier, closed door meetings.

He believes Commissioners Mike Ritz and Steve Mulroy were among those pushing for the lawsuit. Action News 5 put calls into both commissioners Friday, but never heard back from them.

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