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School retirees’ lawsuit heading to court

Halifax County School Board members will soon face in court the 105 former Halifax County Public School employees and Local Optional Retirement Plan retirees who filed a civil lawsuit against the board in January.

The suit stems from the board’s decision to terminate the program.

After months of frustration and constantly seeking answers, Local Optional Retirement Plan retirees sought legal counsel hiring Blackburn, Conte, Schilling and Click, P.C. last October.

Legal papers were served Jan. 15 to former School Board Chairman Karen Hopkins. 

The court date has been set for Monday, July 1, at 9:30 a.m., and according to one of the 105 plaintiffs, former Sinai Elementary School Principal Michael Wilborne, the Virginia Supreme Court has appointed the Honorable Charles L. Strauss from Pittsylvania County to hear the case.

“Judge Strauss is a retired judge but is still subject to recall and has accepted this case,” said Wilborne.

The retirees are seeking to have the program re-instated and reimbursement of their attorney fees. 

Representing the retirees are Benjamin Rand and Stephen C. Conte.