ALBANY, Ga. — Dougherty County School Superintendent Joshua Murfree lacks the support from the Dougherty County School Board to have his contract renewed, The Albany Herald has learned Thursday.
Murfree's three-year contract expires on June 9, and multiple sources have confirmed that he does not have the four votes on the seven-member School Board to support renewal.
The decision to not support renewal was reached after an Oct. 10 closed board meeting at which individual board members discussed continuation of Murfree's contract.
Sources say that at the conclusion of the 30-minute meeting, it was apparent that Murfree did not have the votes necessary for renewal.
Murfree was not present at that closed session, but minutes were taken and given to the superintendent. Sources close to the situation said Board Chairman James Bush and system attorney Tommy Coleman later had a meeting with Murfree in which the superintendent was given the option to "control his own destiny."
Bush would not comment Thursday afternoon. Board members Darrel Ealum, Carol Tharin and David Maschke also would not comment on Murfree's status
After the meeting, Assistant Superintendent Kenneth Goseer reportedly began making calls to people asking them to send letters of support for Murfree to the School Board members. That was when word of the board's non-support began to leak out.
Murfree replaced former superintendent Sally Whatley in June 2010 and took over just as the state probe of CRCT cheating in the system in 2009 was getting under way.
His tenure has been marked 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. There is state involvement in 16 different federal programs because of questionable expenditures.
It was unclear Thursday whether the board would allow Murfree to serve out the term of his contract. The next School Board meeting is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at Sherwood Acres Elementary.