Goebel won't fight to keep school board seeat

Sep. 19—GUILFORD COUNTY — The man whose seat on the Guilford County Board of Education was the center of a political battle between the board's Democratic majority and the Guilford County Republican Party has chosen to step away from the fight.

Bill Goebel sent a letter to board Chair Deena Hayes announcing that while he is certain that the General Assembly acted unconstitutionally in passing a law in August to end his term, a prolonged court fight would be a distraction for the rest of the school board.

"Further, I would rather the representation of the seat be determined by the voters of District 3 rather than three Superior (Court) judges in Wake County," he wrote. "Therefore, I am hereby tendering my resignation of the District 3 seat, effective immediately. I wish my successor and the Board the best of luck in the important work that lies ahead."

Lawsuits involving challenges of state law are heard in Wake County Superior Court.

Goebel's decision appears to clear the way for Michael Logan to be seated on the school board when it meets this evening.

Logan was nominated by the party last November to replace Republican Pat Tillman after Tillman was elected to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, but the Democrats on the board voted repeatedly not to appoint him, an option they had because of a mistake made in amending state laws applying to vacancies on the Guilford school board.

The General Assembly passed a law in March to force the school board to seat Logan, but a discrepancy between the process used to nominate Logan and the process spelled out in the law created a loophole that the board used to appoint Goebel instead.

Legislation that passed the General Assembly in August ended Goebel's term and mandated that the school board appoint the Guilford County Republican Party's nominee to fill that seat at the board's next regular meeting.

On Sept. 12, the board held a specially called meeting and voted to hire the Poyner Spruill law firm for advice ahead of today's meeting, which starts at 6 p.m.