Civil trial against BOE member to be heard Thursday

Published 6:11 pm Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The civil case involving Butler County Board of Education member Johnny Lee will be heard by Judge Edward McFerrin Thursday at 1:30 p.m., according to circuit clerk Allen Stephenson.

Plaintiffs Greg Griffin and Vonciel Bedgood allege that Lee resides in district one, although he currently represents district 5.

Lee claims his current residence is 503 Cook Bridge Road in Georgiana, but Bedgood and Griffin maintain that they have information that proves Lee actually resides at 18990 Mobile Road, putting his primary residence outside the district he represents.

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The bench trial will not have a jury, which isn’t required in civil trials unless requested by one of the parties, but the proceedings are still open to the public. McFerrin will preside over the court.

“Hopefully we will get this thing settled that day,” Stephenson said.

Bench trials, like jury trials, still feature a deliberation period before a judgment is handed down, Stephenson said.

In bench trials, however, the judge is not sequestered while this deliberation occurs.

A judgment can be pondered as long as the judge sees fit.

Lee was appointed to the board in June 2007 to fill a vacancy left by Joanne Peak.

In 2008, Lee was elected to a six-year term, which he is currently serving.