New Judge to be Assigned in SJSD Injunction Case

During a hearing Monday morning, Judge Melissa Lawyer accepted the district's motion for a change of judge.

Posted: Nov. 6, 2017 11:15 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) A new judge will hear an injunction case filed against the St. Joseph School District.

Buchanan County Judge Melissa Lawyer was assigned to the case. During a hearing Monday morning, Judge Lawyer accepted the district's motion for a change of judge.

The request has been expedited and a new judge is expected to be assigned to the case later today.

St. Joseph resident Eldon Green filed a request for a 15-day restraining order last week. The lawsuit accuses the district of using public funds to help promote Proposition 1 and calls for the district to stop spending in support of the tax.

Green is also treasurer for Supporters of A Better SJSD, the group which opposes the tax.

The Secretary of State's Office is also investigating a complaint filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission accusing the district of violating state law.

The St. Joseph School District has denied the allegations. Superintendent Dr. Robert Newhart has called the move a political ploy to distract voters in the days leading up to the election.

Voters will decide the fate of Prop. 1 on Tuesday. The proposed $1.15 tax levy without a sunset clause would raise $11.5 million yearly in new funding for the district and would raise taxes on a $100,000 home about $18 a month.

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