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Judge rules in favor of BISD election map with one November race: Brassard vs. Hilliard
BEAUMONT-By: Leslie Rangel
State district Judge Donald Floyd has ordered a November Beaumont school board election.
The judge released his ruling this afternoon and said there's no evidence to support delaying the election any longer.
If voters end up going to the polls in November, only one of the board members who meet here each month will face election, Janice Brassard. She has a challenger, Joey Hilliard.
The order Judge Floyd approved this afternoon puts three board seats up for election.
But the two other trustees Tom Neild and Gwen Ambres do not have challengers and will run unopposed.
Three people who filed for seats on the board and who wanted to challenge incumbents filed a lawsuit that led to the decision.
They said it was illegal for the school district to cancel the scheduled may election.
They argued the 'map' the district approved that sets boundaries for board seats is illegal.
We spoke with attorney Michael Getz, one of the lawyers representing the three challengers. He says the battle isn't over and plans to give the Beaumont court of appeals enough time to stop the election.
Getz says he expects to file an appeal within about ten days.
We also spoke with BISD attorney Melody Chappel.
She told us, "I like the part where Judge Floyd said. No further interference with the election will be tolerated. The county voter registrar has been running interference for opponents who challenged BISD in court. Hopefully, this will put an end to the obstruction."
Stay with KFDM for more developments.
BEAUMONT - KFDM News has learned Judge Donald Floyd issued an order setting a November BISD board election based on a map with only one contested race-incumbent Janice Brassard vs. challenger Joey Hilliard.
Watch KFDM News and stay with kfdm.com for updates.
The two other seats for which the November 5 election would apply are held by Gwen Ambres and Tom Neild. During the September 19 board meeting, trustees declared Ambres and Neild victors because they didn't have challengers.
"I like the part where Judge Floyd said no further interference with the election will be tolerated," BISD attorney Melody Chappell told KFDM News. She said the County Voter Registrar has been "running interference" for opponents who challenged BISD in court.
"Hopefully, this will put an end to the obstruction," Chappell told KFDM News.
Attorney Vann DeCordova Jr. and other attorneys represent Marcelino Rodriguez, Donna Forgas and Linda Gilmore, all of whom filed for seats in the election.
DeCordova told KFDM News "our clients won't be on the November ballot. We'll be studying our appellate options. We'll contest the November election if we can't gain appellate review. We'll file a lawsuit saying we were wrongfully excluded from the election."