City School Board Issues

Board Chairman Jim Hemby

In a four-to-three vote, Hobbs' contract was bought out, paying him more than $440,000. Meanwhile, taxpayers will also pick up the tab on his replacement.

Board members have told News 4 that Dr. Leon Hobbs had a major communication problem, which in part led to their decision to remove him as superintendent. But after speaking with several members since Hobbs' removal, it seems they are also on separate wavelengths. District Five Member David Morales says nepotism was wide spread in the system.

Others painted a much different picture.

Board members also disagree on the meeting held to negotiate Hobbs' buy-out. We’ve had one member tell us that Alabama Sunshine Laws were violated, because some board members were present at the meeting.

School Board Attorney Jerry Segrest says he was there with two other attorneys, along with Hobbs, Hobbs' wife and newly elected chairman Dr. Steve Stokes.

And then there's the question of why Hobbs was bought out in the first place -- some members say his contract was so iron-clad, the board could not have fired him without being vulnerable to a lawsuit.

But Morales, who wanted to terminate Hobbs, sings a different tune.

News 4 met with District One Member Earl Jones who was very forthcoming with information and agreed to meet later in the day to get his comments on camera.

When News 4 called him later to confirm, he said he needed to get out of town and couldn't talk to me until next week - and when we asked him to at least go on the record over the phone, he said quote "I’ve been warned", and said he wanted nothing to do with the story anymore, and hung up.

The two men who might have more answers, Dr. Leon Hobbs and School Board Chairman Jim Hemby, have not returned our calls.

Later today on News 4 we'll report further on the nature of Hobbs’ reported seven year contract with the Dothan City School System.