Judge issues restraining order on new superintendent hiring

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A judge issued a restraining order Thursday afternoon, preventing the Birmingham Board of Education from voting to hire a new school superintendent.

Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Dan King issued the temporary restraining order after a court hearing requested by Citizens for Better Schools, an advocacy group for education in Jefferson County.

The group claims the Birmingham Board of Education violated open meetings law when it discussed, in private, a contract proposal for Dr. Craig Witherspoon to become the city's new school superintendent. After the hearing, Judge King issued an order preventing the board from voting on the contract.

The board announced this week it had reached a deal with Witherspoon to hire him as the new superintendent of Birmingham City Schools. It was scheduled to meet Thursday afternoon with Witherspoon to discuss details of the contract.

Witherspoon is the superintendent for Edgecombe County Public Schools in rural Tarboro, N.C.