May 2, 2014 10:52:27 AM
JACKSON -- The Mississippi Supreme Court will let stand a lower court ruling that upheld the firings of Lynn Wright and Stacey Hester by the Lowndes County School Board.
Wright was appealing his firing in 2010 by the school board from his position as principal of New Hope High School. In a separate case, former longtime New Hope baseball coach Stacy Hester also was fired in 2009 and sued the school district.
The cases were consolidated on appeal.
In 2012, Chancery Judge Dorothy Colom found Wright was wrongfully terminated. Colom awarded Wright $175,000 in back pay. Colom upheld the firing of Hester.
The state Court of Appeals last year reversed Colom's ruling in Wright's case. It upheld the firing of Hester.
The Supreme Court agreed to look at the appeals in February. In an order Thursday, the court changed its mind. It said it had reviewed the arguments and briefs and had dismissed the appeals. The order allowed the decision by the Court of Appeals to stand.
Wright was fired by the school board on May 17, 2010 for his purported role in Hester's alleged unauthorized purchase of a $15,000 lawn mower.
Wright is now superintendent of the Lowndes County School District, the defendant in the lawsuit.
Each separately sued the district in October 2011, alleging they were fired due to personality conflicts, namely with then-Superintendent Mike Halford and former board president Robert Buckley.
Hester had been the head baseball coach at New Hope High School for 18 years when he was fired for purchasing a John Deere Fairway lawn mower for the school two years previously without approval.
Wright had served as principal at the school since 2007.
According to court records, Halford said the purchase was illegal and done without the school board's authority and recommended the board fire both men.
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