Gary Attorney In Education Board Legal Crossfire
November 5, 2013 — A lawsuit involving Indiana’s Department of Education and Superintendent Glenda Ritz had its first day in court.
Indiana’s Deputy Attorney General David Arthur argued before the Marion County Circuit Court today that only the state Attorney General can represent state officials in court.
Ritz sued ten State Board of Education members, accusing them of taking action that violated state law and undermined her authority. Gary attorney and board member Tony Walker filed an action against Ritz’s lawsuit, and Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office also filed an action with the court.
The AG’s office is asking Judge Louis Rosenberg to strike the appearances and filings of any outside attorneys in the case, including attorneys for both plaintiff Glenda Ritz and the ten board members listed as defendants.
One of those board members is Walker, who has retained his own legal counsel and asked that he specifically be removed from the lawsuit. He says that the Attorney General’s office has made another legal filing that asserts Walker must use AG’s office legal counsel in this matter, requesting the court deny Walker’s usage of private legal representation.
In a written statement Walker told Lakeshore News that the Attorney General has overstepped his authority.
According to Walker, the Attorney General’s claim to be able to represent all parties in the litigation is a direct conflict of interest, when representing parties who are suing each other.
He expects a ruling on the representation issues Friday, which is the date of the next State Board of Education meeting.
Photo shows Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz announcing her lawsuit two weeks ago that initiated the counterclaims.