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Bench trial scheduled for Basye-CPS lawsuit

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

A lawsuit to put former state representative, Chuck Basye's name on the April election ballot is going to trail on Jan 30.

The decision comes after an emergency hearing Tuesday and the day the Columbia Public School District is suppose to submit its April election slate to the county clerk.

During the hearing, the lawyer for the clerk's office said they will obey what decision that judge makes on Jan. 30.

Tuesday, the Columbia Board of Realtors is set to host the Columbia City Council and Columbia School Board candidates for a candidate forum but Basye said he's unsure if he will attend.

"I may show up, I know I won't be allowed to participate but I might just show up and stand in the back of the room." Basye said in an interview after the hearing. "I don't know I'll have to think about it, I'm not trying to be dismissive or undecided I'm just trying to think what the appropriate thing is to do, I don't want to be spectacle and create a disturbance."

Bayse filed a lawsuit against the district saying he was not added to the list of candidates for the Columbia Board of Education election on the April 4 ballot.

CPS has said Basye did not make an appointment to file during the open filing period, which he needed to do because schools were closed for the holidays.

The district said its policy requires candidates who wished to file on that day needed to make an appointment by 4 p.m. Dec. 22. The district posted its procedures on its website and seven other candidates successfully filed, CPS has pointed out.

In the lawsuit, Bayse claims he sent an email to board of education secretary Noel McDonald and Superintendent Brian Yearwood saying that he was going to file a declaration of candidacy on or around Dec. 25, 2022. The petition claims Yearwood told Basye that his filing would be accepted.

Bayse's lawsuit claims the district does not have discretion on restricting when a candidate can file, as long as it is before the Dec. 27 deadline.

ABC 17 News spoke with Basye after the emergency hearing and he says he's confident going into the trial.

"Being a lawmaker for eight years, it seems very very clear that the school district should have been open that day," Basye said. "There's no requirement for an appointment under the state statue, and their own policy is in conflict with their own procedure that they had published for that time period."

Monday night, in a special work session, members of the Columbia Board of Education approved the removal of Dean Klempke from the ballot at Klempke's request, but nothing was discussed about adding Basye's name to the ballot.

A hearing originally scheduled for Monday was canceled after CPS successfully requested a change of judge in the lawsuit.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia Public Schools

Erika McGuire

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