Trustee do-over needed

Mar. 15, 2014 @ 05:01 AM

Not even two weeks after selecting four new trustees for Central Carolina Community College, the school boards of Lee, Chatham and Harnett counties have to meet again to redo one of the appointments.

The Harnett County Board of Education appointed Anthony Harrington, a recently retired history professor from CCCC who lives in the Broadway area, last week. But state law actually prohibits anyone who retired from a community college from serving on that college’s board of trustees until at least five years have passed from the date of retirement.

Harrington only retired last year. So he was never sworn in, said CCCC board of trustees attorney Jimmy Love Sr., and now the Harnett County school board must pick another appointee on which they and the other two school boards will vote during a meeting at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The boards will meet in their respective counties and meet and vote via teleconference, as they did last time.

Love said he had never met Harrington before his selection to the trustees and wasn’t made aware of his employment situation before last week’s vote. Love also said he believes this is the first time the board has encountered this particular situation.

“I don’t recall anyone retired from the community college serving within five years,” he said.

Chuck Levorse, chairman of the Harnett County Board of Education, said Friday that the board has picked a new nominee, but that he thought Superintendent Tom Frye should be the one to announce who it is. Frye, however, was out of the office Friday and couldn’t be reached for comment.

Levorse also said he felt bad for Harrington, who had previously told The Herald he was “glad to be able to give back” to the school where he had taught since the 1980s.

“I’m sure he understands,” Levorse said of Harrington. “And I wish we had not gone that far in the process without realizing there were stipulations way down deep in the law about it.”

This is the second time in recent months the board has run into legal issues. The four trustees who were appointed last week — Harrington, Jan Hayes, Norman “Chip” Post and Robert Logan — were all named to fill seats which were forced empty by the General Assembly after having been appointed incorrectly for years.