BISD says DOJ letter makes May election 'uncertain' - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

BISD says DOJ letter makes May election 'uncertain'


The Department Of Justice sent a letter to Beaumont Impendent School District Attorney Meldoy Chappel which a BISD spokesperson says leaves the May elections 'uncertain.'

The school district issued the following news release on Monday:


DOJ objects to changes ordered by Ninth Court of Appeals; May election uncertain

Beaumont Independent School District today received a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice which leaves plans for a May 11, 2013, Board of Trustees' election uncertain. The DOJ objects to a number of election procedures ordered March 18 by the Beaumont Ninth Court of Appeals.

BISD Attorney Melody Chappell said this development makes the status of the May election uncertain. Among the noted objections defined in the DOJ letter to Chappell were:

• The shortening ("truncating") of the terms of three incumbent minority trustees without informing the public.

• The elimination of staggered terms for members of the Board of Trustees.

• The failure of the state court's order to reopen the candidate filing period after its decision--such would have allowed incumbent participation and/or the public to engage in the electoral process.

Furthermore, the U.S. Attorney General has asked BISD to provide the DOJ with additional information about the proposed map (7b) for the upcoming election. Once Chappell provides the U.S. Attorney General the information, the DOJ has an additional 60 days to render a decision.

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