Judge set to rule on ex-superintendent’s appeal — finally

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 20, 2000

Nearly two years after former Superintendent Dr. Willie Hoskin appealed his removal from office, a judge is ready to issue a ruling.

District 17, Subdistrict 1 Chancery Court Judge Kennie Middleton said on Thursday that the court’s opinion should be issued by next Friday.

Hoskin served as superintendent of the Natchez-Adams School District for five years, until the school board voted 3-2 in January 1998 not to renew his contract.

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The vote split along racial lines with three white board members voting to oust Hoskin, who is black, while two black members voted to keep him in the position.

The split vote sparked cries of racism through the community.

After a public hearing on his behalf, Hoskin left the district June 1998, but appealed the board’s ruling to Chancery Court that summer.

At that time, attorneys went through a filing period and attended a hearing on the case in August 1999.

The case has been on hold pending the judge’s ruling since that time.

Middleton said he could not say if that was a normal length of time for a court to consider a case.

&uot;It’s longer than I would have liked,&uot; he said.

The court reviewed the case and also dealt with many other cases during that time, he said.

No deadline was in effect for the judge to issue a ruling.

In making his decision, Middleton must decide if the school board followed correct procedures in the case.

Hoskin began working for the Natchez Schools in the 1960s as a teacher.

He later served as an administrator and worked for 10 years in the central office, including five years as superintendent.

In 1998, board members Dr. David Steckler, Terry Estes and Don Marion voted against Hoskin while former board members Andi Quartey and Bobbie Ridley voted for him.

Since then Quartey and Ridley have left the board and been replaced by Kenneth Taylor and Camille Jackson.

Hoskin was replaced in January 1999 with Superintendent Dr. Carl Davis.

Hoskin could not be reached for comment on Thursday.