Birmingham city attorney: Rice’s BWWB resignation valid

Chris Rice said Wednesday he’s rescinding his resignation
BWWB Board Chair Chris Rice.
BWWB Board Chair Chris Rice.(WBRC-TV)
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 2:04 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Birmingham’s city attorney pushed back Thursday against the efforts of Birmingham Water Works Board Chair Chris Rice to rescind his resignation.

In a letter to the BWWB’s attorney, City Attorney Nicole King cites the Water Works Certificate of Incorporation that says “Any director may resign by filing written notice of such resignation with the Board or with the city clerk of the City, stating the effective date thereof.”

King says because Rice submitted his resignation letter in writing last week to Mayor Woodfin, and Woodfin transmitted it to the city clerk who filed it, the resignation is valid and can’t be unilaterally withdrawn.

Rice, through his attorney, sent the mayor and BWWB Board members a letter Wednesday saying he submitted his resignation “under duress,” and rescinded it----and now believes he is still a board member and the board chair.

WBRC reported last week that Woodfin told Rice he had to resign, a move our sources say Rice almost immediately regretted.

Woodfin appointed Rice to a Water Works Board seat in January of 2021, and Rice was elected board chair in January 2022.

At the regular BWWB Board meeting Wednesday, the board’s attorney Mark Parnell told board members he believed this dispute should be settled by a court, not the board.

We reached out to Rice’s attorney for reaction to this new city attorney opinion, but haven’t yet heard back.

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