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Womack resigns from board of supervisors

Earl Womack, Halifax County Supervisor for Election District 3, on Monday night resigned from his seat on the board of supervisors effective immediately.

In a letter addressed to ED-3 constituents and county citizens, Womack offered no reason for his resignation.

Womack did not attend the meeting Monday evening, but at the conclusion of the open session, ED-8 Supervisor W. Bryant Claiborne presented letters announcing the ED-3 supervisor’s resignation to the media.

Claiborne said Womack had asked him to deliver the letters.

Attempts to reach Womack for comment following the meeting were unsuccessful.

In the letter, Womack stated, “After hours of thought and discussion with my family, friends and numerous constituents, I have decided to resign my seat on the Halifax County Board of Supervisors. It is my feeling that this is in the best interest of all concerned. This resignation is effective immediately.”

Womack requested supervisors fill the ED-3 seat with an African-American temporary replacement pending a special election.

“This district was designated by the Justice Department as a minority district which has a voter ratio of approximately 67 percent African-American, 33 percent white. This is reflected by the combined votes of Arthur Reynolds and I versus Ray Owen,” he said.

He thanked the citizens in Election District 3 for their “support and continued encouraging words through the election to now. I want you to remember God has everything under control,” he stated in the letter.

He concluded the letter to the citizens of Election District 3 and Halifax County saying, “Again to the Board of Supervisors, please adhere to the Justice Department wishes in selecting my temporary replacement.”

It was last month that Womack resigned from his position as the Halifax County Public Schools Department of Transportation coordinator.

That resignation also was effective immediately.

Halifax County School Board members unanimously accepted his resignation following a closed-door session at their January meeting. 

At the time of that resignation Halifax County School Superintendent Dr. Merle Herndon said she could not discuss the reasons for the resignation citing it was a personnel issue.

 “I can say his resignation was accepted,” Herndon said at that time.

In a telephone interview following his January resignation, Womack, who had been employed with the school system since 2005, cited health and family reasons for why he resigned as school transportation coordinator.

The supervisors did not react immediately to Womack’s resignation Monday evening in the open session portion of the meeting. 

However, when supervisors went into executive session, Womack’s resignation was discussed, according to County Administrator Jim Halasz.

The board consulted with County Attorney Jeremy Carroll about procedures to fill the vacant board seat, Halasz said Tuesday.  

Carroll advised that the board has 45 days to fill the seat or a circuit court judge will fill the position.

The board discussed procedures used to fill past vacancies and has decided to ask for letters of interest from citizens in ED-3 to fill the vacant seat, the county administrator explained.  

Halasz was directed to have a notice placed in the newspapers immediately, and the deadline for submission of letters of interest has been set for Feb. 21.  

At that time, the board plans to review and consider all applicants and decide if a screening process is required or whether all applicants will be interviewed by the full board.  

This decision will be made after the number of applications becomes known, Halasz said.  

Supervisor Chairman Tom West suggested a date be set for interviews, but after discussion, that decision was deferred until supervisors confirm the number of applicants interested in the ED-3 supervisor’s seat. 

The person the Board of Supervisors selects to fill the post will serve until a replacement is elected in a special election that will be held in November.

The winner of that election will serve the remainder of the term that ends Dec. 31, 2017. 

Attempts to reach the board chairman for comment on Womack’s resignation were unsuccessful as of press time Tuesday.