Bartow County Board of Education member and vice chairman Angie Cornett announced Thursday she will resign from office effective immediately. Superintendent John Harper said the board plans to request a special election from the Bartow County Board of Elections to fill the now vacant Post 3 seat.
“For personal and family reasons, Angie Cornett submitted her resignation from her position as member of the School Board of Bartow County to Governor Nathan Deal and to Superintendent John Harper effective today, Jan. 3, 2013,” Cornett’s attorney, John T. Mroczko, said in a statement. “Mrs. Cornett believed it to be an honor to serve on the Board and represent the people of District Three of Bartow County, however, she felt it was time that she step aside.”
Elected to office in Sept. 2010, Cornett beat opponent David Palmer for the Cass district, which was overseen at that time by Matt Shultz.
“I know [Cornett] personally and know her to be an outstanding individual and a couple of unfortunate situations have caused people not to believe that, but I appreciate her service on the board,” Harper said.
Cornett made national headlines this week following a Friday, Dec. 28, incident in which Cornett allegedly struck an Adairsville High School senior in the Cartersville Wal-Mart parking lot using her vehicle. She was arrested for reckless conduct and released on bond and told The Daily Tribune News she denies all charges.
Much of the public backlash began this summer after community members filed a complaint to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, questioning the use of school facilities by outside entities, including the Rome Volleyball Club, of which Cornett’s daughter is a member. After a response from Harper, the organization stated it had no reason to conduct an investigation.
Some community members have asked Cornett to resign since a September work session, during which she referred to a school employee by name and commented on work performance, violating the Georgia Open Meetings Act by discussing a personnel matter outside of an executive session. In the weeks leading to the work session, the website www.bartowforabetterboe.com published text messages between Cornett and a school employee that again discussed personnel matters and contained offensive language.
Neither the board nor Cornett issued any statements or commented on these past situations, despite community members approaching the board during multiple public participation portions of board meetings in regard to Cornett’s actions.
On Wednesday, a page was published to Facebook titled “Bartow Citizens Encouraging Angie Cornett to Resign,” but has since been removed.
Read The Daily Tribune News for updates on the board’s request for a special election.