ALBANY, Ga. -- The Dougherty County School Board emerged from a closed session Monday without naming an interim superintendent to replace the outgoing Joshua Murfree.
Gathering at the second called meeting in as many weeks, the board went into executive session, opened the meeting 20 minutes later and immediately adjourned.
Murfree and the board agreed two weeks ago to a mutual termination of the superintendent's contract on Dec. 18. His original three-year contract expires in June 2013 and he will be paid through the remainder of that contract. The board approved the agreement in a 4-3 vote.
His 2 1/2-year tenure has been marked by controversies in which some involved with the school system have been accused of school lunch fraud, tampering with the school system Police Department and repaying bond money of an arrested student.
In addition, the Georgia Department of Education is currently looking into at least 13 different federal programs because of questionable expenditures by the system.
Board Chairman James Bush said last week that he had contacted the Georgia School Boards Association requesting the name of "someone from outside of the area" as an interim superintendent who would remain on the job until the Board hires a permanent replacement.
Bush added he would like to see the interim in place by the end of December.
Murfree's departure date gives the board little wiggle room going forward. If an interim is not named by the December deadline, all personnel matters such as hiring, transfers and terminations would grind to a halt because those matters can be considered by the board only upon the recommendation of the superintendent.
In a related matter, all members of the board received registered letters from the Georgia Department of Education inviting them to a meeting with the state's audit committee to discuss the DCSS's recent problems with federal programs.
That meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m. Monday in the state board offices in Atlanta.
DCSS Executive Finance and Operations Officer Kenneth Dyer, System Attorney Tommy Coleman and incoming board members Lane Price and Robert Youngblood were also asked to attend the meeting.