Barber et al v. Bice et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge R David Proctor on 8/29/2014. (Attachments: # 1 Judge Brown's Findings of Facts)(AVC)
2014 Aug-29 PM 06:30
2013 Dec-04 AM 09:27
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
ALBERT BARBER, JR., et al.,
Civil Action No.
TOMMY BICE, in his official capacity
as State Superintendent of Education, et
8/13/2012 2:19 PM
CIRCUIT COURT OF
JEFFERSON COUNTY, ALABAMA
ANNE-MARIE ADAMS, CLERK
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF JEFFERSON COUNTY, ALABAMA
SAMUETTA llRICW, et al.,
CIVIL ACTION NO.:
CV 2012-000936 HLB
STATE OF ALABAMA BOARD OF
EDUCATION, DR. THOMAS R. HICE,
in his capacity as State Superintendent
of Education, LUTHER STRANGE, in
his capacity as Attorney General of the
State of Alabama,
BIRMINGHAM CITY BOARD OF
EDUCATION, EDWARD MADDOX,
President, Birmingham City Hoard
of Education, ALANA W. EDWARDS,
Vice President Birmingham City Board
of Educati9n, et al., .
CIVIL ACTION NO.:
CV 2012-902271 EAF
FINDfNGS OF FACT
The above referenced matters came on for hearing before the undersigned on
August l; 2012, and on August 2, 2012, having been previously consolidated by Order
entered in both cases due to the interrelated issues raised in each case. The Court heard
terms testimony of EDWARD MADDOX, SAMUETTA DREW, DR.CRAIG
WITHERSPOON, DR.CRAIG POUNCEY and DR. THOMAS R. BICE and accepted
into evidence and reviewed multiple exhibits offered by the parties herein, as well as, all
pertinent and applicable statutes related to and touching upon the allegations. and
assertions made herein.
Defendants, EDWARD MADDOX and SAMUETTA DREW, are aware
that under Alabama law, the State Board of Education ("SBOE") has general control and
supervision over the public schools of this State. (Rough Trial Transcript ("Tr.") at 32,
Defendant, EDWARD MADDOX, is also aware that the State
Superintendent of Education ("SSOE") may review actions of City Boards in matters
relating to finance and other matters seriously affecting the public interest. He is also
aware that in such matters, the order of the SSOE is binding. (Tr. at 32.); Ala. Code§ 164-8 (l 975).
Defondant, EDWARD MADDOX, is also aware that the Birmingham Board
of Education ('~BBOE") is not free to disregard, defy, or ignore orders or directives of the
For students emolled in the Birmingham School System, the continued
accreditation of the schools in the District is of paramount importance. Earlier this year,
("WITHERSPOON") initiated the process for system-wide accreditation of all the
schools in the Birmingham District. (Tr. at 24 7.)
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If Birmingham schools were to lose their accreditation, Birmingham high
school graduates would be ineligible for various college scholarships, loans, and 'grants.
They would be denied admission to many of the nation's better institutions of higher
(Tr. at 247, 248.) Effoctively, if the Birmingham City Schools are not
accredited, many of its students will be ineligible and unable to go to college.
The Governance and Leadership category is the second most important of the
five accreditation standards utilized by AdvancED, the accrediting arm of the Southern
Association of Secondary Colleges and Schools. (WITHERSPOON's Request for
Judicial Notice, Attachment "B," at 1-4.)
Lack of governance and stability have· long plagued the Birmingham
School System. In the last twelve ( l2) years, the Birmingham School System has
employed five (5) superintendents. (State School Board Exhibit (''State Exh.' 1) 17 at 15.)
The superintendent turn-over rate for Birmingham School System is the highest in the
State. Tr. at 369. This lack of stability in leadership has a direct relationship to the
financial condition of the Birmingham School system. It adversely affects public
confidence in the system Tr. at 369, 370. A new superintendent would have difficulty in
implementing a financial recovery plan as required by the SBOE. Tr. at 371, 372.
The operating costs of Birmingham City School System are considerably
out of line. Its excess costs are in its staffing of its Central Office and support personnel,
its facilities and operations, and its underutilization of schools. (State Exh. 17 at 5.) The
following are examples of such disproportionality:
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Each Shelby County coordinator/director/supervisor/manager ("director")
serves 125 students, while each Madison County director serves 146
students. Each Montgomery County director serves 36 students. But in
Birmingham, there is a director for every 20 students! Id. at 9.
Shelby County, with 28,432 students; employs 622 support personnel.
Montgomery County has 915 support personnel for its 31,368 students. On
the other hand, the Birmingham City School System has 1,020 support
personnel for 25,005 students. Id. at 7.
Birmingham pays $855.00 per student in operations and maintenance costs
per student, while si.rnilar costs for each Shelby County student is $622,00.
Similar costs for each Montgomery County student are $400. 19. Id. at l.
The School Fiscal Accountability Act, Ala. Code § l6-l3A-l et seq.,
(''Accountability Act") requires SSOE, DR. THOMAS R. BICE to oversee the financial
integrity of local boards of education, and the State Chief Education Financial Officer
(SCEFO) Dr. Craig Pouncey, to assist in this oversight. Ala. Code §§ 16-13A-l to l13A-l3;
(1975). In addition, the Accountability Act requires local boards of
education to provide the SCEFO certain financial reports, including an annual projected
budget. Ala. Code §16-l3A-6, 7. In addition, local boards must establish and maintain a
minimum reserve fund equal to one month's operating expenses. Ala. Code§ 16-13A-9.
At the end of Fiscal Year ("FY") 20 ll, the SCEFO determined that 31 of
Alabama's 134 school systems did not have the required minimmn reserve fund equal to
one month's operating expenses. (State Exh . .l.) The Birmingham City School System
was one of those that did not meet the requirement.
The BBOE began the 2011 ~ 12 school year with a monthly reserve balance
of approximately $6.5 million. Id. According to SCEFO Dr. Pounceyj because the BBOE
lost approximately 800 students in the 2011- 12 school year, for the 2012- 13 school year
the BBOE's allocation of state funds will be cut by approximately $4.S million. Taking
into account this revenue deduction, the HBO.E's actual monthly reserve balance was
only approximately $2 million. (State Exh. 17 at 3.)
In FY 2012, the BBOE's monthly operating expenses were approximately
$1 7 million. (State Exh. l at line 114.) Because the BBOE is required to maintain a
monthly reserve balance of $17 million, and because its monthly reserve balance was
only approximately $2 million, the BBOE was approximately $15 million short ofthe
monthly reserve balance required by Ala. Code § 16- I3A-9 (1975). Id.
On February 13, 2012, SCEFO Dr. Pouncey met with representatives of the
31 non-compliant boards. The purpose of this meeting was to he lp the local boards
prepare plans to build and cna.intain the required mini11mm reserve fund. See State Exh.
2. A local board that does not have the required reserve balance, or does not have an
approved plan to build and maintain a reserve, cannot receive State funds, according to
Consequently, it is literally essential for a non-compliant board to act
promptly to adopt and implement a financial recovery plan. Otherwise, the SBOE will be
unable to fund public education in the local school system.
Pursuant to his authority under the Accountability Act, the SCEFO required
each of the 31 non-compliant local school boards to submit by April 2, 2012, a draft plan
in the nature of a broad outline. Ala. Code §16-13A-9(a) (1975). The draft plans were
the first step in an :interactive and collaborative process whereby the local boards and the
SCEFO's office would develop a unique financial recovery plan for each local board.
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Each financial recovery plan was required to be approved by the State Department of
Education and passed as a resolution by the local school board. ld.
The resolutions were due by May 31, 2012. (State Exh. 2.) The SCEFO
had the authority to vary this deadline as needed by local school boards. However, the
late May deadline was intended to give local school boards ample time to implement their
plans over the summer, well in advance of the August start of the 2012~ 13 school year.
Defendant, EDWARD MADDOX, is the President of the BBOE. Although
he owns and rents out a duplex house at 914 53rd Street North, in the City of
Birmingham, he has actually resided for more than a decade at 5440 Carrington Circle, in
the City of Trussville, Alabama. (Tr. at
Tbe Court does not credit his testimony
that he and his wife separated eight years ago. (Tr.at 13.)
Defendant, SAMUETT A DREW, is the Chief Operations Officer for the
Birmingham School System. (Tr. at 96.) She is directly responsible for the operation of
seven (7) departments including: athletics, child nutrition, facilities arid maintenance,
information technology, safety and security, and transportation. (Tr. at 106.) She could
not recall the name of the other department over whose operations she has responsibility.
(Tr. at 106, 107.)
Defendant, SAMUETTA DREW, has an earned Master's degree, but she
has not earned. the status of Educational Specialist. (Tr. at 99.) She has not taken
courses towards a doctoral degree since 1999. (Tr. at 98, 100.) She has never served as
a school superintendent. (Tr. at 103 .) In her view; it ls not irnportant frw a superintendent
of a school system the size of Binningham to have had prior experience as a
superintendent. (Tr. at 105.) She has no experience in monitoring the financial condition
of the Binningham School System. (Tr. at 123, 124.)
The respective roles of the BBOE and the Superintendent of the
Birmingham School System are set forth in Board Policy No. 1020. (Tr. at 45.) The
BBOE's primary function is to deal with broad questions of policy. The superintendent
is responsible for the effective administration and supervision of the entire school system.
Meetings of the BBOE are governed by Robert's Rules of Order. (Tr. at
46) (Witherspoon Exh. 9.) According to Section 9 of Robert's Rules of Order: A special
meeting (or called meeting) is a separate session of a society held at a different time from
that of any regular meeting, and convened only to consider one or more items of business
specified in the call of the meet Ing." Id., (emphasis added.) Defendant, EDWARD
MADDOX, is aware of Section 9 of Robert's Rules of Order. (Tr. at 46, 47.)
Under Birmingham School Policy 1120) "Notice of all special meetings
shall be given to the members of The Board at least 48 hours prior to the time stated for
the meeting to convene. Such notice shall indicate. the purpose of said special me.e.ting,
and items considered at such meetings shall be limited to those listed on the agenda."
(WITlIERSPOON Exh. 3.) (emphasis added.)
Defendant, EDWARD MADDOX, is
aware of this policy. (Witherspoon Exh. 3.) (Tr. at 47, 48.)
Defendant, EDWARD MADDOX, is aware that the BBOE is not
violate or disregard its own policies. (Tr. at 46.)
Pursuant to an Employment Agreement ('the Contract") effective March
22, 2010, DR. WITHERSPOON was appointed by the BBOE as the Superintendent of
the Birmingham City School Systern. (WITHERSPOON Exh. 10.)
Unless the BBOE provides to DR. WITHERSPOON a notice of its intent to
renew the contract by. April 11 2013, the Contract will expire on June 30, 2014.
(WITHERSPOON Exh. 10 at. 9.)
Upon sixty (60) days' notice to DR. WITHERSPOON, by a vote of the
majority of the Board, the BBOE may, without cause, terminate the contract by payment
of his base salary and benefits due for the remainder of the Contract. (WITHERSPOON
.Exh. 10 at 7 1 § 15.)
The contract does not mention, and does not contemplate, administrative
leave as a substitute for the sixty (60) days' notice. (WITHERSPOON Exh. LO.) (Tr. at
DR. WITHERSPOON is in charge of the
operations of the
Birmingham City School system. (Tr. at 218.)
. DR. WITHERSPOON regularly communicates with BBOE members. ·He
has set aside the third Friday of eaci1 month for Board members to meet with him; he has
never refused to meet with Board members. (Tr. at 19, 218.) (WITHERSPOON Exh.
11.) According to SSOE DR BICE, there is widespread community support for DR.
WITHERSPOON. Tr. at 604.
Under BBOE policy, an individual Board member has a duty, among other
things, to refrain from individual efforts fo influence school operations in such matters as
employment, promotion and purchase; and, after votes are taken, to accei1t the will of the
majority vote in all cases and give support to the resulting Board policy in accordance
with the best interests of the system. (WITHERSPOON Exh. 12.) (Tr. at 219.)
After DR. WITHERSPOON assumed his office, defendant, EDWARD
MADDOX, leaned heavily on him to abort existing plans to build a new Hayes ·
Elementary school, and instead to buil.d a new Hayes High School.
Because the proposed change would have cost $43 million, DR. WITHERSPOON wisely
resisted the change. (Tr. at 220~224.)
At the time DR. WITHERSPOON assumed his ofllce, plans to construct a
new Parker High School were well underway. These plans included the demolition of the
. old I 927 high school bt1ilding, and because. of this DR. WITHERSPOON did not seek
BBOE approval of a demolition contract from the BBOE as requested by Board Member
Emanuel Ford ("Member FordH). Unable to persuade DR. WITHERSPOON to make a
a lawsuit against DR.
WITHERSPOON in the Jefferson County Circuit Court, Ford v. Witherspoon, CV 201 l
Although the Circuit Judge initially grat1ted a Temporary Restraining Order
("TRO"), after the TRO dissolved, the Circuit Court denied Member Ford's Motion for a
Preliminary Injunction. (WITHERSPOON Exh. 13.) Member Ford ultimately dismissed
his lawsuit. Id. (Tr. at 225, 226.)
Sometime since the beginning of this year, five members of the BBOE,
including defondant, EDWARD MADDOX,
FORD, TYRONE BELC.HER, and DR. VIRGINLA VOLKER ("the Five") have met,
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telephonically and otherwise, and made a decision to terminate DR. WITHERSPOON's
Contract. By the end of March 2012, defendant, SAMUETTA DREW, had knowingly
become a participant in the plan to terminate DR. WITHERSPOON. (Tr. at 132-136.)
The evidence adduced by the Defendants does not disclose or warrant any
cause for the termination of DR. WITHERSPOON's Contract. From the absence of such
evidence, the Court infers that there is no cause for the termination of his contract. Quite
to the contrary, the termination of his contract at the present time and under the present
circumstances would be rather prejudicial to the Birmingham School System.
The first regular meeting of the BBOE for the month of April, 2012, was
scheduled for April 10, 2012. But on April 4, 2012, defendant, EDWARD MADDOX,
caused to be sent a notice of a called meeting for 4:00 o'clock p.m. on Good Friday, April
6, 2012. DR. WITHERSPOON's Contract was the only agenda item for the meeting.
THE FIVE had planned to terminate DR. WITHERSPOON's Contract at that meeting.
(Tr. at 20.)
When various citizens learned of the Good Friday meeting and what they
· considered the reason for the meeting, they demonstrated in front of the BBOE offices;
large numbers of citizens called and e-mailed defendant, EDWARD MADDOX,
requesting that the meeting be cancelled. (Tr. at 21.) Defendant, EDWARD MADDOX,
then cancelled the called meeting.
On April 9, 2012, the BBOE submitted its initial draft financial recovery
plan. (State Exh. 2.)
At its regular meeting of Tuesday, April 10, 2012, the agenda was amended
to include a discussion of DR. WITHERSPOON'S Contract. (State Ex.
4 at 1.)
"Community Voice" portion then ensued,. with statements from various citizens. Id. at 2.
The mt\jority of the speakers encouraged the BBOE to renew DR. WITHERSPOON's
Contract for at least another two (2) years. These included both black and white parents;
business, civic, and foundation leaders and alliances; the Chief Executive Officer of
Alabama AT&T; the head of the Greater Birmingham Foundation; the President of the
Birmingham City Council; and the Mayor of the City of Birmingham. The Birmingham
City Council unanimously adopted a resolution urging the BBOE to renew DR.
WITHERSPOON's contract, and most of its members personally appeared at the
meeting, Id. at 2-4.
3 8. .
Following the Community Voice session of the meeting, BBOE member
W. .f. MA YE, .JR. moved to extend DR. WITHERSPOON's Contract by three (3) years.
THE FIVE voted "nay," and the motion fa.iled. Id. at 4. Board members BRIAN
GIATTlNA, PHYLLIS WYNNE, APRIL M. WILLIAMS, and W. J. MAYE ("Member
MA YE") voted in favor of the motion. Id.
Defendant, EDWARD MADDOX, then· himself made a motion to
terminate DR. WITHERSPOON's Contract in sixty (60) days, and place him on
administrative leave immediately.
The motion was seconded by Vice-President
EUWARD's. Id. Member MAYE then challenged detendant, EDWARD MADDOX's,
right to make a motion while presiding.
Id. at 5.
On advice of Board Counsel,
Defendant, EDWARD MADDOX's, motion and second were withdrawn.
Defendant, EDWARD MADDOX, subsequently made the statement, "Y'all left me
The Court finds that defe11dant, EDWARD MADDOXis, "y'all" reference
was to the other three members of THE FIVE: BELCHER, VOLKER, and FORD.
Following other business, SBOE member Richardson addressed the
audience. She· expressed her elation with the vision reflected in the establishment of·
academies and Pre-K programs in all the schools. She concluded by noting that she and
SSOE UR. BICE had observed the meeting, and she wanted the audience to know "that
we will be going back to Montgomery, on tomorrow, to determine the relationship
between the Alabatna State Department of Education and the Birmingham City School
System." ld. at 9.
BBOE Member WYNNE then rnade a motion that the BBOE be
investigated for violations of the Open Meetings Act by . certain BBOE members,
particularly in view of defendant, EDWARD MADDOX's, statement, ''y'all left me
hanging." Id., p. 9.
Vice-President EDWARDS responded: ''Wait a minute. Thank you, Ms.
Wynne, thank you for finally calling for an investigation of the Board. I would actually
like to make a motion to terminate the Superintendent's contract in sixty (60) days and
place him on administrative leave immediately, for sixty (60) days,
pay." Id. BBOE
Member WILLIAMS challenged the motion, maintaining that it was out of order. BBOE
Board Attorney agreed that the motion was out of order. Id.
There was no further
discussion of DR. WITHERSPOON' s Contract at the April I 0, 2012, meeting.
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In separate remarks at the April 10, 2012 meeting, BBOE Members
WYNNE, FORD, VOLKER, and GIATTINA invited the State Board of Education to
investigate BBOE. Id. at 9-12.
On April 12, 2012, the SBOE adopted a "Resolution for An Investigative
Review of the Governance of the Birmingham City Board of Education." The Resolution
found that the BBOE "has, over the course of recent weeks and months, engaged in a
pattern of decision making, action,. and inaction that has impeded or prevented
implementation of plans, initiatives, and prognuns designed to meet the Birmingham
Board's financial and fiduciary obligations under State law and to ensure the provision of
appropriate educational services
to 25,000 students."
The Resolution also found that
"these circumstances have eroded public and parental confidence in the Birmingham
School System, have created and compounded community division and controversy, and
have threatened to exacerbate a long-term trend of declining enrollment in the
Birmingham School System." (WfTHERSPOON Exh. 2.)
Based on these findings, the SBOE authorized the SSOE to conduct an
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investigation and review, and to resolve all
and matters under his authority
confetTed by the applicable provisions of the Alabama education.statutes. Following the
completion of his review and investigation, and his findings and orders based thereon, the
SSOE was directed to provide copies of his report to the SBOE, the BBOE, and to law
enforcement authorities, if and as appropriate. (WITHERSPOON Exh. 2.)
On April 12, 2012, SSOE DR. BICE wrote to defendant, EDWARD
· MADDOX, notifying him of the SBOE Resolution. The April 12, 2012 letter gave the
following directives to defendant, EDWARD MADDOX: l) the BBOE should not
interrupt or interfere with the SSOE's investigation or the administrative or educational
functions of the SSOE; 2) the BBOE should not, without the proper written approval of
the SSOE, initiate or approve any adverse personnel action at the senior executive level
during the SSOE's investigation; and 3) without prior consultation with the SSOE or his
designees, the BBOE should not approve any
administrative or financial
(WITHERSPOON Exh. 1.) The April 12 letter also notified defendant,
EDWARD MADDOX, that the SSOE reserved h.is right to modify or set aside any
conflicting action, order, or decision of the BBOE. Id
Although he testified to the contrary, the Court finds that the defendant,
EDWARD MADDOX, fully understood that the April 12, 2012 letter prohibited him and
the other BBOE members from attempting to terminate DR WITHERSPOON's Contract
without the prior approval of SSOE BICE, and that SSOE BICE had the authority to set
aside any action purporting to terminate the Contract.
Defendant, EDWARD MADDOX, and his attorneys understood that under
the directives of the April l 2, 2012 letter, the BBOE was not authorized to approve the
hiring of an additional attorney, since such engagement would be a "non-routine"
Dr. Edward Richardson, former SSOE and retired President of Auburn
University, was appointed by SSOE DR. BICE to lead the investigation team on behalf of
the SBOE. He and his team appeared and commenced their work in Birmingham within
a week of the sending of the April 12, 2012 letter.
SSOE DR. BICE met with the BBOE on April 19, 2012, and explained the
purpose of his investigation. He discussed the financial condition of the BBOE, and the
separate work the SBOE was doing, along with SCEFO Dr. Pouncey's assistance and
oversight, in an effort to bring the BBOE into compliance with the Accountability Act.
April, 2012, the BBOE retained both
Parchman) and outside (Waldrep, Stewart & Kendrick, LLC) legal counsel. Nonetheless,
at its meeting of April 24, 2012, the BBOE voted to hire Frederic A. Bolling as additional
outside counsel. (State Exh. 8.)
SSOE DR. BICE subsequently wrote to the BBOE and explained that its
.decision to hire additional counsel was in violation of his April 12, 2012, directive not to
undertake or approve any notHoutine administrative or financial transaction without
prior consultation with SSOE DR. BICE or his designee. (State Exh. 9.) He directed the
BBOE to suspend the hiring of additional outside counsel "until appropriate consultation
with me or my designee occurs." Id.
The BBOE ignored SSOE DR. BICE and his April 12, 2012, directive; the
appropriate and required consultation with the SSOE never occurred.
On April 24, 2012, the BBOE approved the initial draft ecovery plan.
(State Exh. 21.)
. Throughout April iind May, 2012, DR. WITHERSPOON and his staff,
HBOE members, and SCEFO Pouncey and his staff worked to create a Financial
Recovery Plan that could be approved. Dr. Pouncey met with the BBOE on April l 8, 24,
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and May 21, 2012, to discuss the specifics of the Financial Recovery Plan. (State Exh. 8,
9, and 10.)
By May 31, 2012, the BBOE' s Financial Recovery Plan was complete .
.SCEFO Pouncey an
DR. WITHERSPOON presented the plan to the BBOE.
presentation showed the BBOE ways in which it could save operating funds -- for
example, by closing certain schools or reducing the number of non-certified support
employees -~the BBOE could establish the statutorily required $17 million reserve fund,
and without diminishing the BBOE's educational mission. The Financial Recovery Plan
was to be implemented over two years, with $13 to $14 million in savings occurring
during the 2012 - 13 school year, and the balance realized in the 2013 -14 school year.
(State Exh. 17 .)
The Birmingham City School System was the only one in the State which
failed in its obligation to submit a Financial Recovery Plan to the SBOE by May 31,
A called meeting was scheduled by the BBOE for June 5, 2012, to consider
an act on the May 31, 2012, Financial Recovery Plan.
(State Exh. 18.)
reconnnendation of DR. WITHERSPOON, BBOE Member WILLIAMS moved to
approve the Financial Recovery Plan.
THE FIVE voted against the Motion, and the
Financial Recovery Plan failed for want of a majority vote. (State Exh. 18.)
At the next regular meeting of the BBOE on June 12, 2012, all of the
BBOE members present voted to adopt the Financial Recovery Plan. (State Exh. 19 at .7.)
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The plan adopted by the BBOE did not .include the implementation aspect, i.e., it did not
identify the specific individuals who would be affected by implementation of the plan.
Due to the BBOE's continued opposition to and defiance of SSOE DR.
BICE's authority, both to require a Financial Recovery Plan and to investigate reports of ·
BBOE's governance problems, on Jline 14, 2012, the SBOE adopted a resolution
authodzing SSOE DR. BICE to appoint a person to provide on-site oversight of the dayto-day operations of the BROE, and to advise and assist with the BBOE' s implementation
of the Financial Recovery Plan. The Resolution further authorized SSOE DR. BICE, in
the event that a Financial Recovery Plan was not approved by the BBOE at its meeting of
June 26, 2012, to intervene into and assume direct control of the .fiscal operation of the
BOE, and further to . appoint a Chief Financial Officer to manage the financial
operations of the BROE towards the end of restoring the system to a sound financial
condition. (State Exh. 22.)
DR. WITHERSPOON cu1Cl his staff, assisted by SCEFO Dr. Pouncey and
his staff, prepared the implementation phase of the plan and presented it for approval by
tlie BBOE at its meeting of June 26, 2012. The implementation phase (i.e., "Persorinel
Actions Associated with Reduction in Force") was not approved by the BBOE. This
time, BBOE Vice-President Edwards broke ranks with THE FIVE, and voted in favor of
the implementation phase of the Financial Recovery Plan. But with an abstention by
BBOE Member WILLIAMS, four of THE FIVE voted against the plan and only three
voted in its favor. Thus, the passage of the implementation phase failed for lack of a
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SSOE DR. BICE then intervened, pursuant to Al
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