Public weighs in on vacant Henrico School Board position

Posted at 12:20 AM, Sep 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-20 00:20:10-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -- It has been over a month since former Henrico School Board member, Diana Winston resigned as the Three Chopt District representative.

Her resignation comes after questions were raised regarding her and her family's relationship with Superintendent, Patrick Russo, who is currently on paid annual leave.

There are currently eight candidates looking to fill Winston's seat. On Thursday night the board heard from the public about who they'd like to see as the new interim school board member.

"I ask that you choose the person that would be the most effective, but the least bias," said one parent at Thursday night's public forum.

Public trust in the board was rattled after CBS 6 obtained emails showing that Diana Winston forwarded an email to Mr. Russo from a school employee questioning his leadership.

CBS 6 asked school board chair, Beverly Cocke about any conflict of interests with the candidates.

Currently, the Commonwealth's Attorney is looking into a potential conflict of interest involving Diana Winston and her husband's company.

Cocke told CBS 6 that looking at conflict of interests with potential new board members is one of their main concerns.

"We had each candidate fill out their statement of economic interest as well as their statement of qualification," said Cocke.

Cocke also said the board will have their lawyers look over those statements.

The board plans to appoint the new member on Sept. 25.