Published: Feb 01, 2013 03:27 PM
Modified: Feb 01, 2013 03:44 PM
Debra Goldman on Friday emailed her resignation letter from her Wake County school board seat. But a quirk in state law means she’s likely already off the board.
Goldman said she is in the process of moving to Ronda, in Wilkes County, where she appears on voter rolls and where she’ll be taking a job with a nonprofit organization. She declined to name the organization.
Goldman said she plans to appear at Tuesday’s school board meeting, both to announce that she’s leaving and to vote for a replacement for fellow GOP board member Chris Malone, who resigned after being elected to the state House in November.
“I am preparing to move,” Goldman said. “The voters in my district deserve to have me weigh in on the replacement for Chris Malone.
“I still live in Cary.”
But legally, Goldman may not be able to serve and vote at Tuesday’s meeting.
State Board of Elections records show that Goldman registered last week to vote in Wilkes County, in the foothills northwest of Winston-Salem. Goldman was dropped from the Wake County Board of Elections voter rolls on Monday.
Under the state Constitution, elected officials must be qualified to vote for the office they hold. Goldman represents a district that includes much of Cary.
Goldman said she didn’t intend to transfer her voter registration, only to renew her car registration. But she signed a form with the state Division of Motor Vehicles Office in Wilkes County authorizing the change in her voter registration, according to Cheri Poucher, director of the Wake County Board of Elections
Goldman wrote in the resignation letter that she is speaking with board attorneys about when her resignation would go into effect. It is unclear whether she will be allowed to vote at Tuesday’s meeting.
“I don’t think the meeting should take place short two board members,” she said.
School board vice chairwoman Christine Kushner said members will need to hear from the board’s attorneys whether Goldman is legally allowed to serve.
Goldman said she has been staying with friends in Ronda, a small town on the Yadkin River, while planning her move. She also said she has been very ill with flu.
“I’ve got to transition,” she said. “I can’t afford two residences at one time.”
The remaining school board members would appoint a successor to Goldman’s seat, which expires in November. The departure of Goldman, a Republican, would give the board’s Democratic majority even more of a chance to increase its control.
With the departures of Goldman and Malone, Democrats could build a 7-2 majority on the school board.
Goldman was elected to the school board in 2009 as part of a Republican election sweep that gave the GOP the majority on the officially nonpartisan board. Goldman has had several public tiffs with Republican and Democratic board members over the past three years.
Goldman unsuccessfully ran last fall for state auditor in a campaign that saw revelations come out that she had filed a police report in 2010 naming Malone as a suspect in a burglary that she reported at her home. Malone, who was cleared by police, told investigators he had a relationship with Goldman, which she denied.
Goldman, who is in the midst of a divorce, told supporters after the auditor’s campaign that she was looking for a full-time job. News researcher David Raynor contributed to this report.