Birmingham Water Works Board chair rescinds resignation; says he wrote the letter ‘under duress’

Chris Rice’s letter rescinding his resignation is attached
Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 11:52 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2022 at 3:32 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Less than one week after Birmingham Water Works Chair Chris Rice wrote a letter to the mayor’s office resigning from his role, we’re now learning he has decided to rescind his resignation. Rice says he is still the chair and that he wrote the first letter under duress.

Rice, who was appointed to the BWWB Board by Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, was Board Chairman since January 2022.

This is the letter from Chris Rice rescinding his resignation.
This is the letter from Chris Rice rescinding his resignation.(BWWB)

In a letter dated September 8, Rice wrote to Mayor Woodfin: “Please accept my resignation from the Birmingham Water Works Board, effective immediately. I am grateful for having the opportunity to serve on this board. I offer my best wishes for its continued success.”

Rice has since hired an attorney and sent a letter to Mayor Woodfin and BWWB Board dated September 14 that he was withdrawing his resignation as it was made “under duress.” Rice said he did not resign to the board, so in his view, he is still chairman. Birmingham Water Works Vice-Chair Butch Burbage shares that same view.

“I think under the circumstances I was presented today, yes he is. He submitted a resignation but that resignation was taken back, therefore it’s not a resignation,” Burbage said.

The board’s attorney says that’s not up to the board to decide, it will likely be a judge who has to decide this, Mayor Woodfin’s office would only refer us to Rice’s original resignation letter and said they have no comment beyond that.

This is a developing story. Stay with WBRC FOX6 News on-air and online for updates.

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