Montgomery County Superintendent Joshua Powell is seeking an injunction in Montgomery Circuit Court asking the school board to immediately rescind his suspension.
The board suspended Powell with pay Jan. 7 after an executive session lasting about three hours. The school board also decided not to renew Powell's contract, which began July 1, 2011, and ends June 30. The court document does not say why Powell was suspended.
"I don't believe the suspension is lawful," his attorney, C. Ed Massey, said in an interview. "Under the law, they can either terminate him for cause or let him finish his contract."
The court document, dated Thursday, says there is no provision under Kentucky law for suspension of a superintendent.
"They have not terminated him for cause," Massey said. He said Powell is asking to be reinstated immediately.
"Let him finish his year. He's done in June," Massey said.
The court document alleges that the board's actions "slandered and defamed" Powell and breached his contract. It alleges that board members did not question him before suspending him.
An attorney for the Montgomery County School Board did not return a telephone call Friday.
Powell has recently been having a hearing before the Education Professional Standards Board, which is responsible for issuing and renewing certificates for all Kentucky teachers and administrators. Alicia Sneed, director of legal services for the board, said the hearing is in recess but will resume soon. Standards board officials have not said what the hearing is about. Powell's court complaint noted that the EPSB has not issued findings against him.
On Jan. 7, Powell wrote to Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday, asking him to investigate the conduct of some school board members.
"The letter was received," Kentucky Department of Education spokeswoman Nancy Rodriguez said in an email. "No written response was issued to Josh Powell. However, consistent with statutory authority and Kentucky Department of Education policy, the letter was forwarded to the Office of Education Accountability for further investigation since it raised allegations against local school officials."