MOUNT VERNON — R. Kelly Hamilton, the attorney representing suspended Mount Vernon Middle School teacher John Freshwater, has filed an application for a Writ of Mandamus with the Supreme Court of Ohio.
A writ of mandamus is an attempt by an individual to have a public official do his or her official duty, and in this case specifically refers to Mount Vernon school board president Ian Watson, board member Jody Goetzman and school treasurer Barbara Donohue.
The complaint charges that the school board and the individuals previously mentioned “refuse to proceed with legal process whereby [they] thwart and deny [Freshwater] due process of law” by not testifying at Freshwater’s contract termination hearing.
Hamilton previously attempted to compel the board members to testify by filing an application with the Knox County Court of Common Pleas. On July 7, Judge Otho Eyster ruled he had no authority, in this case, to make them present testimony in the hearing, as the board effectively quashed the subpoenas. The Ohio Supreme Court filing alleges the board has no power to quash a subpoena and implies that it is within a board member’s official duties to appear for testimony.