The Colleton County School Board Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit against members of the county's state delegation over controversial changes to school board election districts.
The lawsuit names the county's legislative delegation as defendants, including Sen. Clementa Pinckney, who sponsored a bill that moved two school board members, P.A. Pournelle and William Bowman Jr., into other election districts. The bill was signed into law in May.
Colleton residents and school board members have raised concerns about Pinckney's motives, saying they fear the legislation was political payback against Pournelle and Bowman for voting to dismiss Superintendent Leila Williams in March. Pinckney, D-Ridgeland, has said he was only trying to ensure the district was following the Voting Rights Act, which requires the population in election districts to be evenly distributed with a racial balance.
The lawsuit is requesting an injunction to stop the implementation of Pinckney's bill and a court-ordered plan that redraws the School Board election districts to comply with the Voting Rights Act.