Questions continue to swirl around the new Wake County school board majority's efforts to hire a prominent Republican attorney to audit the district's legal services.
As noted in today's article by Thomas Goldsmith, former school board chairman Kevin Hill is questioning Thomas Farr's political ties. He was a former GOP nominee for a federal judgeship and a former legal counsel for the state Republican Party.
"I do believe it doesn't look good for the board," Hill said in the article. "He is closely identified with the Republican Party at the state level. His law firm has a minimum amount of experience with school law."
It's fair to note that Wade Smith, a prominent Democrat, is a founding partner of Wake's longtime school board counsel, Tharrington Smith. Smith spoke out in favor of the diversity policy during the fall school board campaign.
But Smith isn't directly involved in the school district's legal work. Farr would be as part of the contract that's still being negotiated by new school board chairman Ron Margiotta.
Hill also criticized the board majority for voting 5-4 to name Farr to the job without establishing his fee for the work.The contract will be discussed as an information item on Tuesday's board agenda.
One of the issues that ha cropped up is whether Farr's firm, Ogletree Deakins has the educational law experience to represent Wake. While it's not on the firm's web site, they listed their educational law background as part of the prospectus they gave Margiotta.
The prospectus notes how the firm has represented school districts in civil rights cases. That could come in handy as Margiotta said in the article that they wanted to bring Farr on board in case the state NAACP makes good on its threat to take legal action against Wake.
Ann Majestic, the head of Tharrington Smith's educational law section, said the firm could represent Wake if the NAACP sued over resegregation.