NEWTON -- Baker County Superior Court Judge J. Kevin Chason has scheduled a hearing this afternoon to consider motions from Baker School Board attorney Alex Kaplan in regard to a reconvened Baker County Grand Jury's second set of presentments requesting a probe of expenditures by the board.
Last month, Chason expunged an earlier Grand Jury presentment directing South Georgia District Attorney Joe Mulholland to look into the system's finances.
"They won't leave my folks alone," Kaplan said. "The D.A. reconvened the Grand Jury and redid the presentments. We believe that there are still problems with these new presentments."
In the expungement order, Chason wrote that he found "such portions of the subject presentments were, and are, overbroad and beyond specific statutory powers contained in OCGA 15-12-71 as a matter of law and, accordingly, must be expunged from the record of this Court."
Kaplan, alarmed that Mulholland would begin issuing subpoenas immediately, on Monday filed three motions with the Superior Court seeking a second expungement of the latest Grand Jury presentments.
Specifically Kaplan is asking Chason to:
-- Expunge the latest Grand Jury presentments;
-- Quash notice of investigation of the board and Superintendent Freddie Thompson;
-- Quash notice of investigation specifically related to Thompson.
The controversy arose in July when Mulholland, whose circuit includes Baker County, was approached by members of the Baker County Concerned Citizens for Education in regard to expenditures by the school system.
Three of the group's members -- Major Skinner, Mike Tabb and Buster Delucca -- presented evidence to the Grand Jury, which directed Mulholland to look into the matter. Chason's expungement order effectively ended the first probe before it began.
"We went back and looked at the state law, and it states that a Grand Jury has the right to investigate an elected official, including a school board," Skinner said. "They also have the right to appoint a citizen to aid in any investigation, and I am that appointed citizen."