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Basye plans to file a lawsuit against CPS for rejecting his school board candidacy filing


State Rep. Chuck Basye said he plans to meet with a lawyer Thursday morning to discuss pursuing a lawsuit against Columbia Public Schools.

Basye, R-Rocheport, said he attempted to file for a position on the school board on Tuesday. Basye said he made the decision to file after speaking to a former candidate who said they would not be running this year. His term as representative is ending.

The Board of Education's Candidate Filing Procedures states candidate filing dates are as followed:

  • Candidate filing opens at 8 a.m. Dec. 6, 2022
  • Candidate filing closes at 5 p.m. Dec. 27, 2022.

The website also states that fillings will not occur during the following holidays and breaks, which includes Dec. 23-26, 2022.

Since the 27th is the last day to file, CPS said any "candidates who wish to file on the last day must make an appointment by 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 22, 2022."

Basye said he was aware of the deadline, so he claims decided to email the Superintendent Dr. Brian Yearwood of CPS to ask for guidance.

"Late Monday night he replied to me in an email and said, Chuck, the Board Office will be open on Tuesday," Basye said. "'You can go ahead and shop up and file.'"

Basye said on Tuesday morning he planned to head down to the Aslin Building to file when Yearwood gave him a call.

"Dr. Yearwood called me and said he made a mistake," Basye said." He said that the policy that they had on their procedure on their website for the filling was in effect before he got there."

Basye said he reached out to the Secretary of State's Office, and the Attorney General's Office, who advised him to apply at the Boone County Clerk's office. Basye said he filed at the Clerks Office before the deadline.

Basye said he was notified this afternoon that his filing was rejected.

CPS spokesperson Michelle Baumstark said in a written statement that the district's policy and filing procedures were publicly posted on its websites and buildings.

"Office holiday hours and filing information is posted on the front doors of the Aslin Building, advertised and posted publicly on our website," Baumstark wrote. "Filing was available by appointment and appointments were to be made by Dec. 22. Mr. Basye did not schedule an appointment."

Baumstark said the district had to conduct its filing procedures in this matter due to the holiday weekend. The district's employment calendar includes Dec. 23, 26-27, as district holidays, which is why the appointment had to be filled by Dec. 22.

Basye said he will be taking legal action against the district because he believes the "artificial deadline is illegal."

"I have a meeting with an attorney in Columbia and we're prepared to expense any personal resources and file a lawsuit against the school district because I believe I deserve to be on the ballot."

"We are looking into whether or not Mr. Basye’s attempt to file is legal, filing isn't candidate certification,
Baumstark said. "Candidates must be certified in order to appear on the ballot. There are multiple steps required for a candidate to be certified, including filing appropriate documentation with the Missouri Ethics Commission. Legally filing to be a candidate with the school district is the first step in the process."

Columbia-based lawyer Bill Tackett said the school district's formulated policy appears to be in accordance with state statue.

"That's something that can always be challenged on the constitutional grounds," he said.

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Marina Diaz

Marina is a Multimedia Journalist for ABC 17 News, she is originally from Denver, Colorado. She went to Missouri Valley College where she played lacrosse and basketball, and anchored her school’s newscast.


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