Amended Lawsuit Seeks To Overturn Vandeven’s Firing

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Citing new testimony from a state school board member, a Springfield teacher is asking a judge to overturn the Missouri Board of Education’s controversial removal of the state education commissioner.

Teacher Laurie Sullivan filed a lawsuit in November accusing the board of violating the state’s open meetings law before it fired Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven.

In filings presented to a Cole County judge Tuesday, Sullivan argued a deposition from board member Eddy Justice indicates the board discussed issues in two closed meeting late last year that should have been public business. Justice said the board discussed several issues in closed session, including Vandeven’s firing.

Sullivan’s attorney, Duane Martin, argues the Sunshine Law violation makes all actions taken by the board during those two meetings invalid. That would include Vandeven’s dismissal.

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