Galveston public school officials late Monday detailed for the first time their objections to a former trustee running again for a post he vacated, and said they would submit his name for the ballot to avoid a legal battle, despite residency concerns.
Galveston Independent School District officials said they would allow Beau Rawlins to run for District 6-F after his attorney threatened legal action.
Rawlins, who occupied the District 6-F seat for nine years, resigned Feb. 9, citing difficulties in his personal life. He said he filed to run again for the post a half-hour before the window closed on Aug. 21.
The district’s legal counsel became concerned about Rawlins’ serving on the board after learning he had moved outside the district, officials said.
Rawlins’ attorney, Julia Hatcher, said the move was only temporary, his permanent residence never changed and that he’s been living in Galveston.
“After being made aware of these facts along with other questions, Galveston ISD became concerned that Mr. Rawlins could not maintain his qualifications as a member of the board of trustees,” officials said in a prepared statement. “After discussing the issue with the district’s legal counsel, Mr. Rawlins subsequently voluntarily resigned his position as trustee.”
Galveston school district policy requires candidates to be in the office’s territory for six months before the filing deadline, which would have been Feb. 21.
District 6-F covers the West End of the island.
Rawlins’ application to be put on the ballot listed a Galveston residency for 14 years and four months, which was contrary to what he said when he resigned, officials said.
Emily Fortune, secretary of schools, told Rawlins he would not be on the ballot, which spurred Rawlins to hire attorney Julia Hatcher, officials said.
“Unfortunately, the law in this area is not clearly defined and allows the applicant to swear to certain facts whether they are accurate or not for filing purposes,” officials said. “Therefore, given this lack of clear law on point, the district is forwarding Mr. Rawlins’ application and the information set out above to the county.”
District officials said they didn’t want to spend money litigating the matter.