With the trial dragging on for several months, Amy Ward’s future on the EVSC school board is unclear
Evansville – Waiting for Amy’s word after she commutes the criminal charge you face A less immediate but arguably more impactful question: How about her seat on the EVSC School Board?
word who was He was elected to a four-year term in 2020, does not provide any answers. She has not received phone and text messages regarding her seat on the school board, which will be re-elected next year.
Word, which owns Lamasco Bar & Grill and the popular upscale restaurant Amy’s on Franklin, was on alert. Unpaid leave from the school board Since her arrest in July 2022. She has Not guilty to one count of a Level 6 felony, “maintaining a public nuisance – controlled substance,” and was fitted An energetic general defense accused of linking her to drug use and trafficking in Lamasco.
Elections for the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. Board of Trustees are nonpartisan, but Word is a self-appointed Democrat. She admitted after her 2020 election that some Democrats asked her to consider running for the school board. and when i did, She was the top vote-getter in a field of four candidates. She also reported more than $13,000 in contributions in the months leading up to the election, far outstripping any other candidate.
But the Vanderburgh County Democratic Party chairman doesn’t want to talk about Word right now.
Party chair Cheryl Schultz said, “I haven’t spoken to Amy in a year or two. I don’t want to comment on anything to do with Amy.” “no comment.”
Told that Courier & Press was seeking comment on Ward’s viability as a candidate for school board next year and not her criminal case, Schultz replied, “No direct comment across the board.”
The question of whether Ward would seek re-election if she was ultimately convicted of a felony charge could be settled.
“She can be removed by a court for two reasons: conviction of a felony or leaving her position,” EVSC attorney Pat Shoulders said last week.
Attorney’s claim It is backed by Indiana law.
Shoulders told the school board last year that if Ward’s seat became vacant, the board would have to fill it within 30 days or else state law required it to be filled by a circuit court judge.
“This board cannot impeach her,” Shoulders told the Courier & Press last week. “All the board has done is they’re not going to accuse her of giving up her office because she’s not here.”
School board chairman Chris Keefer asked Ward to resign after her arrest last year, but she refused. Shoulders and Kiefer said last week that the leave of absence approved by the board, which has now been extended for a year, will last as long as her criminal case is resolved.
Shoulders and Keefer said Ward’s resignation request was made in hopes of avoiding a “distraction” from the board’s operations. In her letter to the board requesting a temporary leave of absence, Ward cited “recent events and attendant publicity falsely accusing me of legal violations of which I am innocent” and said she did not want to distract the school board.
The only state law that specifically addresses leaves of absence for elected officials—and EVSC School Board policy—applies when someone is called up to active military service. But the Indiana School Boards Association said the state Home rule law. The school board gives Word leave approval authority.
For now at least, Ward’s photo hangs in the school board meeting room along with photos of the other six members. It is possible that she will remain there after her trial.
Ward and her defense attorneys have publicly contested many of the key allegations made by investigators in her case. The trial is scheduled to begin March 4 at an as yet undisclosed location outside of Vanderburgh County.
This article originally appeared on the Evansville Courier & Press: Word’s future on the EVSC School Board remains unclear with months of trial